Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wingers Sauce!

 Alas... my bottle of Winger's sauce was getting rather low... Love the stuff. BUT it was my lucky day, and when I was randomly surfing the net, I found a recipe for Winger's Amazing sauce!! I wish I could remember where I found it to give credit where credit is due since I didn't come up with it, but I was blog surfing again, and this recipe only took a few ingredients so I just wrote it down and forgot to write where I got it from! YES!!! I love Winger's sauce, and since Winger's closed in our town, and I couldn't buy a bottle when I was out, I was sooo excited to give this recipe a try... and it tastes pretty dang close to the stuff from the restaurant, but maybe just a titch hotter. I love the stuff, I like to make chicken wraps with large flour tortilla's, popcorn chicken, lettuce and cheese with this drizzled over it, and then wrapped. Or have you ever eaten at Jay dogs in Provo??? Well, they have a sauce similar to this on their hot dogs, so I had to give it a try and my goodness! It's my new fave... I like Johnsville smoked brats that have been grilled, with Buns from Walmart's bakery, (love the texture of those brat buns!)  next I put my sweet zuchinni relish, and banana peppers, and then drizzle this sauce on them! YUMMO and double YUMMO!!!

  I love sweet and spicy together. Dare you to give it a try! I know you'll love it!

Almost Winger's Amazing Sauce

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Frank's Hot sauce
2 Tablespoons Water

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, Cook at a low boil for about 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool, use on chicken wings, tenders, or on brats, or wherever you like winger's amazing sauce!

That's all there is to it!! Yumm!!

Cooking..... and creativity

Sorry this isn't a new recipe... I've been way busy with my Cake decorating class and so I've been making what's already been posted or salads.
I ran across a niece-in-law's blog,, and it had some quotes  and thoughts about cooking that I loved. Some of which  I will share here along with some thoughts of my own.
I LOVE cooking, it's been my passion since I was 8 I think. I remember making cookies, candy, cakes, and you name it, when I was little. (the only trouble I had back then, was not cleaning up after myself when I was done, much to the frustration of my mom.) Now I especially love cooking in my kitchen and listening to my favorite music, sometimes dancing like a fool, and sometimes singing, and sometimes when a song comes on that pulls at my heart strings, maybe crying a bit.... It's just my creativity coming out, and my time, my alone time..... I just love to take ingredients and make them into something beautiful and delicious. It does more than just fill my stomach, it fills my soul!
 To quote President Dieter Uchtdorf:
"The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter."

So there, in a nutshell is why I love to cook, not only do I love food, but ..... I love to create! I love making something entirely new out of something ordinary, whether it be food, or crafting things with fabric, yarn, paper, or wood... you name it.  And so lately I've been letting my creativity come out in my cake decorating class...... but when I run across a recipe that I want to try out and it turns out great, you can rest assured that you will find it here. :o)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, I was blog surfing the other day. Like I've said before I've been on a salad kick lately, and thought I'd give this dressing a try. It was yummo!!! I suggest making a salad like I did for my Grilled Chicken and spinach and salad and giving this dressing a shot. Except, marinade the chicken in 1/4 cup hoisin sauce with 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 4 shakes of hot sauce in a ziploc bag. Cook like I did in the previous salad. YUMM!!

Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing

1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 green onions, chopped into pieces (you will puree these in a blender)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (I'm plugging the kind you get in the tube at walmart in the produce section again!! love it)
salt to taste

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except sesame seeds. Puree until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Stir in toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle over salad of your choice (see my Grilled chicken and spinach salad with Sweet and Sour dressing post-- I did that same combination.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

I've been in the mood for dinner salads lately... maybe from too much cake from my cake decorating class or too many whopper eggs from Easter?? I don't know. I ran across this Sweet and Sour Dressing Recipe and it went with a spinach salad. I got it from a co-worker a few years ago. She brought it to a pot luck we had at the office, I just had forgotten about it until now. It was good, but  I added a few things like grilled chicken  for protein. The recipe also said to put hard boiled eggs in it, but since I don't like them I left them out, but feel free to add whatever you want to this salad.  You could also add fresh sliced mushrooms, but I didn't have any.This dressing was Yummo!!

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup minced sweet onion (if you use a strong onion, use a little less or it will overpower the dressing) I think I will cut back to 1/4 cup minced onion next time I make this.... We had onion breath long into the night! :o)
1/2 cup sugar (I used a little less than 1/2 cup, dressing was still sweet)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 cup salad oil (I used canola)

For the salad:

4 small chicken breasts
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 head napa cabbage, diced into bite size pieces
1/2 small bag romaine salad mix
1 cup snow peas, sliced in bite size pieces
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated cheese, your choice (I used cheddar, and you can add more if you like)
4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and diced
1/2 cup chinese noodles for garnish on top

First, make the dressing by mincing the onion in a food processor or blender. Next add the rest of the dressing ingredients except for the oil, and pulse to combine. Then with the processor or blender going, slowly pour in the oil and puree until it's emulsified (or creamy looking and combined) You can add more honey to your taste, I only used about a Tablespoon.
*This makes enough dressing for two salads. Or you can marinade your chicken in about a 1/4 cup of the dressing sprinkled with a dash or two of hot sauce in a ziploc bag. I let my chicken marinade for about 1/2 an hour.
Heat your grill, and cook chicken at medium heat for about 6 or 7 minutes per side, depending on how thick the chicken is. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into this strips.

To assemble the salad, place spinach, napa cabbage, lettuce, snow peas, and carrots in a large salad bowl, toss a bit to combine. Then sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the top. Drizzle with dressing. (I used about half of what was left of the dressing after taking out 1/4 cup to marinade my chicken.)
Then place sliced chicken on the top and sprinkle with the chinese noodles.
Serve and enjoy!! YUMMO!
My salad served 3 adults, and 2 of them were men.
Also this dressing could be warmed up if you like, just drizzle warm dressing on salad right before serving, it's great either warm or cold.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops

I haven't been cooking anything new lately... I've been way busy with a cake decorating class. It's been so fun!! But with the weather being like it is, cold and snowy and windy for this time of year, I thought of this recipe. I used to make it quite a bit, I love the gravy sauce on baked potatoes and the pork chops are really tender. This is another of my comfort foods, I got it from my mom when Jim and I were first married, I'm not sure where she got the recipe, but its a good one. It's an easy recipe, but remember the pork chops take about an hour to cook in the oven so keep that in mind. Enjoy!!

Smothered Pork Chops
6 lean pork chops
2 Tablespoons flour (approx)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a pie plate, mix together the flour and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, set aside. Rinse the pork chops with water, and pat dry with a paper towel.
Heat a large skillet with about 2 Tablespoons oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, dip your pork chops in the flour, you just want them to be lightly coated with the flour on each side. Place in skillet and let brown for a couple of minutes on one side, then turn and brown on the other side. Place browned pork chops in a 13x9 casserole dish.
Combine soups and seasonings  (except parsley) with 1/4 water in a saucepan; mix well. Heat this mixture through; then remove from heat; add the parsley flakes and sourcream. Mix to combine. Then pour over the pork chops in the casserole dish. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil, and seal the edges tightly. Bake in the over for 1 hour or until tender.
I like to bake my potatoes at the same time. The gravy is way good on the potatoes. YUMMO!!! This goes good with steamed veggies too!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Country Fried Steak and Gravy

I hadn't made this for a long time! I had forgotten to take anything out to thaw for dinner before leaving for work the other day, so I thought I'd just swing by the grocery store and see what was on sale. Nothing was that caught my eye, and then I saw the cubed steak. I love country fried steak, or some people call it chicken fried steak, but no matter what you call it, it's good! I've tried other recipes for this but haven't been too impressed, this is how I've always made it and how we always like it. Hope you enjoy!

Country Fried Steak and Gravy
4 cubed steaks (or how ever many you need)
1/2 cup flour
3/4  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs (or 1 egg and 1/4 cup egg beaters egg product)
hot sauce
vegetable oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, a dash of salt and pepper, and a dash or two of hot sauce. Set aside. In another medium bowl or deep-sided plate, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat about a  1/2 cup vegetable oil over medium heat. When hot, dip one steak into the egg mixture, then dip into the flour mixture until well coated. Place in skillet and continue so all 4 steaks are in the pan. Save any leftover of the flour mixture to make the gravy. You can toss out any leftover of the egg mixture.
Cook over medium heat until steaks are golden brown, then turn over and continue to cook until golden brown on that side.
Remove from pan and let drain. I like to place mine on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath. Keep steaks warm in warm oven. I heat my oven to the lowest temperature that it will go.

Now it's time to make the gravy. If there is a lot of oil left in your skillet drain some off, you want about a 1/4 cup left in the skillet. Keep the crumbs and little bits of steak in the pan. Next, add your leftover flour mixture (you want about a 1/4 cup of flour, so if you didn't have that much left add a Tablespoon or two of flour to what you had left) to the hot oil in the skillet and whisk over medium heat for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and bubbly.
Now slowly add the milk, I start with about 1 1/2 cups, to the skillet over medium heat while whisking to prevent lumps. Cook and stir over medium heat until you reach your desired consistency for gravy.

If it gets too thick add more milk. Taste to check seasonings, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Also you can add a dash or two of hot sauce if you like. I think hot sauce inhances the flavor of things if you add just a dash or two.
When serving, place steaks on a plate and top with gravy.
I like to serve this with baked potatos or hashbrowns and steamed veggies! YUMMO!

Lemon Cream Cupcakes with Black Raspberry filling

Last week I had a 'blonde' moment or two at work, (long story there) but eventually ended up making cupcakes for our I.T. department at work to thank them for trying to fix my error..... Anyway, I had this recipe that I found here that I had been wanting to try. So I thought their lemon, which would make good "blonde" cupcakes, so I gave it a shot. The cake recipes was exactly like the raspberry lemon cupcakes I've already posted, it's a good cupcake recipe. I didnt' follow the frosting recipe from 'tasty kitchen exactly, but I will post here what I did, it was yummo! And I filled mine with Smucker's Black Raspberry 'just fruit' seedless jam. I have a cake decorating bag, and a tip that has a long thin end that works great for filling cupcakes or eclairs, so I gave that and shot and it worked great. The flavors were awesome together. YUM!

Lemon Cream Cupcakes with Black Raspberry filling
Makes 24 cupcakes
2-¼ cups Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
1-¼ cup Buttermilk
4 whole Large Egg Whites
1-½ cup Sugar
2 whole Lemons (just The Zest, But Reserve Juice From One for the frosting)
½ cups Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoons Pure Lemon Extract
1 jar of Smuckers Black-Raspberry Simply Fruit Jelly (for filling if desired)

¼ cup Butter, Softened
1 packages Cream Cheese (8 Ounce Package)
4 cups powdered sugar (approximately)
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Lemon (just The Juice)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Preparation Instructions:
For the cupcakes:
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place flour, baking powder and salt into sifter and rest on a plate.
3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Or until it looks like yellow snow. Whatever makes sense to you.
5. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
6. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
7. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
8. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife or toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean.
10. Cool on wire rack.
11. If filling the cupcakes, you can either scoop out a little cake with a spoon and ad a little filling then put the cake back. Or you can use the tip I was talking about at the top of this recipe with a little jelly in a decorator bag. Insert the long end of the tip into the cupcake and squeeze a little filling into the cake as you slowly pull the tip out of the cupcake. Don't worry if a little of the filling bubbles out of the cake, you can cover that with frosting.

For the frosting:
1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. (this will be thick, but just wait)
3. Finally, mix in vanilla and lemon juice. If your frosting isn't thick enough (remember if you are going to pipe it on the cupcakes with a decorator bag, you will want it thick so it doesn't run off the cakes) Add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you get the right consistency. Whip with mixer for a minute or two till it's light and creamy. Then stir in melted white chocolate.
4. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes. (I used a decorator bag with a 2D tip, I thought they kind of looked like roses!!)

Garnish the top with a little grated lemon zest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast

I saw this recipe on 'Guys Big Bite" the other day, and thought it looked way good so I gave it a try. It turned out Yummo, but I had enough filling for 5 or 6 chicken breasts instead of 4. I also used chicken broth instead of the wine. I served this with a pasta side dish from the show as well, but I didn't really care for it much so make any pasta side (like baked ziti) and a steamed veggie and Enjoy!

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri
Prep Time: 40 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 4 portions

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute until translucent. Stir in the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the salt, pepper and garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, deglaze with 1/4 cup of the white wine. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter, allow it to melt, then toss in the Parmesan and parsley.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before stuffing the chicken breast.

Rinse, trim and pound out chicken breasts to about 1/4-inch thick. Do not over-pound as holes in the chicken will make it difficult for the chicken to retain the stuffing.
Put 1/4 of the stuffing mixture at 1 end of a chicken breast. Gentle roll the chicken breast folding the ends in to help keep the stuffing from coming out during the cooking process. Secure the chicken roll with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and stuffing.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts, with the secured side of the chicken first, to insure the roll with stay together. Brown the chicken on all sides, add remaining butter, and deglaze with remaining white wine.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the toothpicks. Slice each breast on a bias into 5 pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining pan drippings, garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan and serve.

**I didnt' slice mine up, we just took a whole chicken breast and topped with a little juice. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as Guy's did, I posted his picture up top and here's what mine were like... but they were delicious!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Tacos

I found this recipe here: but I"m re-posting here as I re-vamped it a little to our taste, and I did mine in the crockpot. You know me, I always am up for a new way to do tacos, So I had to give this recipe a try! It was yummy but next time think I will sprinkle a dash or two of ground chipotle pepper on the shredded meat, I thought it needed to be just a bit spicier. But it was way tender and kind of had a sweet spicy flavor from the Dr. Pepper and the chipotles. We topped our tacos with cheese, and shredded cabbage and salsa. Yummo!!

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Tacos
1 whole Large Onion
1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 small can Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
1 can Dr. Pepper
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Flour or Corn Tortilla
Toppings: shredded lettuce or coleslaw mix,  diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.
Preparation Instructions:
Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a a crock pot.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the crockpot.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in the can of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Place lid tightly on crock pot, Cook on high for about 3 hours, then turn roast over, and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours more. (I cooked mine while I was at work and turned the roast over on my lunch break and turned down the crock pot to low). Cook for at least 6 to 8  hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, let cook for another hour or so.
Remove meat from crock-pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Strain the onions out of the liquid as well. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.) I only used about a cup of my cooking liquid with the meat.
Serve on warm flour or corn tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce or coleslaw mix,  diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.Yummo!! I served mine with mexican rice and black beans. Yum!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I really have been on a cupcake kick lately. I watched the 'Barefoot Contessa" the other morning and she was making a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, and it looked soooooo good! But I had to put a Reese's Peanut butter cup in mine for a filling, plus when I made the icing I put a little more powdered sugar in it. I posted here what I did. Back in my teen years I would crave the Peanut butter filling from Reese's PB cups, so I would melt Peanut butter and add powdered sugar in it till it was thick, it would fix my craving, and that is what this icing reminds me of, only this frosting is better! Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Makes: 14 to 15 cupcakes

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (I left this out when I made mine, because I don't drink coffee, still yummo)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (can use cake flour, just increase the amount by 3 Tablespoons)
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Mini Reese's Peanut Buter cups, FROZEN --this helps them so they don't melt all over the place.**See note
Peanut Butter Frosting
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans. Take the papers off of the Reese's peanut butter cups, and poke one into the middle of each cupcake down into the batter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (don't poke the toothpick into the peanut butter cups! I just touched the tops of the cupcakes with my finger and if the cake springs back they are done). Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. If frosting isn't quite smooth enough add a bit more cream a Tablespoon at a time till you get the right consistency. You want it thick enough to be able to pipe onto cupcakes with a decorator bag and tip, and not run off the cupcakes, but not so thick you couldn't spread it with a knife if you want to frost them that way. Frost, and then add a few chopped peanuts to the top!

**Note: A few of my cupcakes had holes in the top from where I put the peanut butter cups. I just filled it in with frosting and no one knew the difference! You can't have too much frosting if you ask me!!

Corn Dip

  I made this recipe on the 4th of July, I got the original from the Pioneer woman but tweaked it a bit. I cut the recipe in half, added Wal...