Showing posts from May, 2012

Onion Soup Packet Oven Roasted Potatoes

Have you ever paid attention to the recipes on the back of the Lipton onion soup mix?  I never really did, until Mr. C brought them to my attention.  He asked about these potatoes one day.  Since we've tried it, this quick and easy recipe has become a staple in our household.  Who knew onion soup mix was such a miracle ingredient?

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
2 lbs. potatoes cut into large chunks
1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Cut the potatoes and lay them out in a baking dish.  Pour the vegetable oil over them and mix to ensure all potatoes are covered with the oil.  Then sprinkle on the packet of onion soup mix.

For a little extra kick, I add a little black pepper to the potatoes.

That is it, simply bake the potatoes for about 35 minutes at 425 degrees.  Stir them occasionally while baking.
These potatoes were served with the Dijon lime chicken featured here.

Dijon Lime Baked Chicken

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken.  I found this recipe on  Gina's original recipe can be found here.  Her recipe is an adaptation of a Paula Deen Recipe.

I have modified it a bit removing the mayonnaise from the list of ingredients.  Mr. C is not a fan of mayo and although I like it, I figured the dish would be healthier if I omitted it.

Small chicken thighs with skin removed (Use 6 to 8)
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 crushed clove garlic
1 lime, use the lime zest from the lime and squeeze the juice from that lime
3/4 tsp pepper
dried parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  If the skin has not already been removed from the chicken, remove it and wash the chicken.  Place the chicken in a glass pan.

In a small dish, mix the Dijon mustard, lime juice and lime zest together.

Season the chicken with pepper, salt and parsley flakes.  Then pour the mustard and lime mixture over the chicken thighs.  Place the garlic in the pan.

Bake th…

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

The daughter of a friend is going to LSU in the fall.  So I made this cake for her recent graduation celebration.  The "Eye of the Tiger" logo is the graphic on their football field.

When trying to figure out the best way to get this graphic on the cake, I decided to try a frozen buttercream transfer.  I knew it probably would not have worked out well if I would have attempted to freehand the design.  With the buttercream transfer, the icing graphic would be edible and easy to slice when cutting the cake.  It seemed to be the best option for the job.

To do this transfer, first tape the paper with the graphic to the back of the wax paper.  Then tape the wax paper to the to the counter or surface on which you plan to work to keep it in place while you are piping the icing onto the wax paper.

Mix the colors you need for the graphic.  For this, "Eye of the Tiger" graphic, I used purple, yellow and white. 

Using a size 3 or 5 tip, pipe the design onto the wax paper usi…

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken quesadillas are my go to quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights.  They take little effort and go a long way.  When baked, the crust of the tortilla becomes flaky adding a little crunch to the quesadilla.

1 large onion
1 green bell pepper
4 medium sized tomatoes
4 large cans of canned chicken, with juice drained
16 flour tortillas
1 large bag of shredded cheeses, fiesta blend (you can also use 3 or 4 small bags)
cayenne pepper
dried parsley flakes

Dice the onion, bell pepper and tomato and saute in a skillet until the onions appear translucent and all the ingredients are soft.

In a bowl, season the canned chicken with cayenne pepper and dried parsley flakes.

Once the onions, bell peppers and tomatoes have cooked down, add them to the chicken.  Mix all ingredients together.

Spread the chicken and seasonings onto flour tortillas.  Then cover with shredded cheese.  Cover with a second tortilla.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once baked, I cut the…

Decorative Glass Vases

I first saw these on Pinterest.  After a little more searching, I came across Martha Stewart's instructions for painting glass.  It can be found here.

First use some surface conditioner for glass paint.  It seems exactly like rubbing alcohol, I may actually try using rubbing alcohol instead the next time I paint glass.  Then, pour in some of the enamel acrylic paint and swirl it around the entire interior surface of the glass. 

I actually used a brush to kind of spread it around some more near the mouth of the vase. 

Then, simply flip the vase upside down on stacks of newspapers.  The excess paint will drip down to the top of the vase.  This should cover any streaks left from the use of the brush.

Once fully covered, but not yet completely dry, wipe the rim of the vases and let dry.  Let them dry for about a day.

Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs can be served in a spaghetti sauce or even served as an appetizer in barbecue sauce. They are quite versatile.

1 can of tomato sauce
3 lbs of ground turkey
2 eggs
2 cups breadcrumbs

In a large bowl, season the ground turkey with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and the eggs.  Mix the ingredients together.

Mix the tomato sauce and ground turkey together.  I usually use a spoon to do this. 

Then, with your fingers form several little round meatballs and line a baking dish with them.

Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

We Need To Talk...

"We need to talk", those are the scariest words.  You are left to wonder what needs to be talked about, if it is something good or bad.  In our case here, we simply need to talk about some changes to the blog.

I enjoy doing this blog, but for me, this is a hobby.  I do not generate any type of income from this blog.  So, in real life, I have a full time job and a slew of other responsibilities.  Posting here five days a week has become quite time consuming.  I am the type of person that when I do something, I do it 100% effort.  As a result, I have kind of let the blog take over my life.  I have forgone doing things with my family and friends to complete projects, take pictures, write and edit.  While doing this, I often lose track of time and when I get up from my computer, an entire Saturday has passed or an evening after work is gone.

So, I have decided to take it down a notch here on the blog.  Rather than posting five days a week, I will post twice a week, maybe three. …

Chocolate Cupcakes

Who doesn't love chocolate?  It's one my favorites.  Here is the recipe I use for my homemade chocolate cupcakes.

2 cups white sugar 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick) 3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  teaspoons baking powder
1  teaspoons baking soda
2   cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Cream the butter and sugar together with mixer.

Add in the eggs, salt, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla extract and mix at low speed. Slowly add in the flour to the batter and mix. Then add the cocoa powder and continue to mix. Finally, add 1 cup of buttermilk to the batter and mix in well.

Fill cupcake tins with the batter and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  This recipe can also be used to make a chocolate cake. I will show you how to do that later.

Painted Wooden Sign

The entrance to your home is the first place where guests feel welcome.  I want our home to be a warm and welcoming place.  So, I made this sign out of unfinished wood that says "Welcome Home".

Hobby Lobby sells these unfinished wood plaques.  I purchased some acrylic paint in the desired color.  This navy blue matches the colors of our living room area, which is near the front door.  I also used a paint pen in white to write the words "Welcome Home".

First, paint the wood and let dry for a few hours.

Then, use the paint pen to write the words of your choice, in this case, I wrote "Welcome Home".

Stuffed Catfish

There is a local restaurant that serves fish stuffed with an eggplant and shrimp stuffing.  I have eaten it so many times that I have studied the ingredients.  I have come up with my own version of the dish, quite similar to the original one I love so much.
Ingredients: 2 eggplants 1 medium onion 1 green bell pepper 1/2 cup celery 2 tablespoons minced garlic
A splash of dry sherry (optional) 1 lb frozen shrimp, thawed 1 can cream of mushroom soup 2 cups breadcrumbs 4 lbs catfish fillets
Start by dicing the eggplants.  Finely chop the onion, celery and green bell pepper.

Boil the eggplant until tender.

While the eggplant is boiling, saute the onions, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, a splash of dry sherry and butter until the onions are translucent and soft.

Once the mixture has cooked down, add in the shrimp and season with cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the shrimp to cook.  For this, I used frozen shrimp that was deveined, with tails off and already cooked.  It…