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Caramelized Honey Dijon Chicken {How Sweet It Is}

2 Aug

Click image for source

(Review by Denise)

Last night my mom came over for dinner and, in the name of saving money, I refused to go to the grocery store for ingredients. Thank you Pinterest, once again, for coming to my rescue! This time a pin from How Sweet It Is  provided just the recipe I needed: few ingredients, all on hand. Go check out the recipe for Caramelized Honey Dijon Chicken right here.

Not knowing if my mom would go for the sharp flavor in straight-up Dijon, I used 1/8 cup Dijon and 1/8 cup whole-grain Dijon (which has more of a sweet flavor). The spicy mustard I used was just regular ol’ grocery store stuff you put on a hot dog, spicy brown mustard. All else I cooked per her instructions, and I am notorious for drying out chicken so I was skeptical.

Verdict? Awesomesauce. And of course I mean that literally, because the sauce was oh-so-awesome. The chicken didn’t dry out (whoo-hoo!), and it was indeed, a beautiful caramelized color. I served it up with some long grain brown rice and green beans. It was a hit with my mom and my little girls. A definite keeper.

The World’s Best Chicken {Rachel Schultz}

17 Jul

Image from RachelSchultz.com

(Review by Denise)

This is one of “those” recipe pins. You know the ones… “Best recipe I’ve ever had in my life!!” “Only 5 ingredients!” “You’ll never make another chicken recipe again!” I went for this one, not because of the spectacular claims, but because the ingredients are ones we usually have on hand. Check it out here on Rachel Schultz’ blog.

The comments on her page mentioned how high the temperature sounded, but there were mixed results for people about how the chicken turned out in spite of that. I went with 400 degrees instead of 450. I also went with a smaller pan than a 9×10, mainly so it could fit in our toaster oven and not heat up the (already hot) house. Two fatso chicken breasts cut in half came out to one pound of chicken. I also used white wine vinegar because I had unknowingly run out of red. We are maple syrup snobs around here, so only the best for that.

Verdict? I loved it!! It turned out perfectly moist, something that rarely happens when I cook chicken. I have some small, picky eaters–but even they liked it paired with their favorite sauces. (And no, I wouldn’t recommend a grown person dip this delicious chicken in ranch dressing or catsup. But you do what works with kids sometimes.)

Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups {Iowa Girl Eats}

19 Apr

Photo by Iowa Girl Eats

(Review by Marci)

I don’t really have a good story to go along with this post. I wanted something easy and something for which I wouldn’t have to go to the store. I found this recipe for Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups on Pinterest from Iowa Girl Eats. It seems to me that EVERYONE in the Midwest is really good at cooking. Maybe there is something in the water there? Anywho, I did not have ham but I did have sausage. Either one works well with eggs, so it’s all good. I was a little worried about the quinoa and how it would affect the texture and thus effecting whether or not my kids would eat. I was relieved that they loved it and asked for seconds! I love how versatile this recipe is and will be adding it into the rotation!

Guinness Beef Stew (crock pot) {The Sweets Life}

29 Mar

click on image to take you to the source: The Sweets Life

(Review by Denise)

This is totally a cheater’s review. I didn’t even make this! But wait, before you run off…. I did eat it. I watched a bit of it being made. And I smelled it cooking all day. You see we visited some friends in another state over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and I offered to make this recipe for the blog and split the grocery bill. I should’ve known! My sneaky friend wouldn’t let me fork over a dime and she pretty much did all the cooking before I even had my first cup of coffee. (Thanks, Caralee!) Luckily the Pinterest recipe grades I hand out are based on taste alone.

St. Patrick’s Day at Caralee’s abode was the perfect day for stew: cold and rainy! Her man had a fire going in the fireplace, and that classic, rich stew scent paired with the scent of the beer really whet my appetite. Caralee even made an Irish soda bread and two loaves of wheat to go with it. (She’s like that. She makes bread on a whim.) I was pretty surprised that the Guinness scent never diminished during the cooking process. It had me concerned that maybe the alcohol didn’t cook off (which would taste pretty weird)–but nope.

Verdict? Pass. But hear this: it was a mild pass. On a rainy, cold day paired with warm, homemade bread–it hit the spot. But there was consensus that it needed more flavor. I just said, “It tastes like any Irish food I’ve ever had: warm, filling, and hardly any flavor.”  If you like stew, are feeling particularly cold, or possibly work in a coal mine or other classic career that demands a meat-and-potatoes dinner…head on over to The Sweets Life and check out the recipe here.

Chicken Broccoli Supreme {Get Off Your Butt and Bake}

22 Mar

(Review by Marci)

The thought of a casserole makes me think of large pans of sloppy tuna, noodles and mayonnaise.  My throat immediately closes and I start scheming ways to get out of eating.  In my book, there are just some things that are wrong; stealing, lying, murder, and warm tuna.  Bleh!  I have already mentioned that I am not a master chef, so how was I to know that casserole does not have to be made out of tuna? You can use things like chicken! Broccoli! Crackers! Wait. What? Crackers? Mind= blown.  Check out this recipe from my new favorite food blog, Get Off Your Butt and Bake. 

Click image to take you to the source: Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

Doesn’t that just look mouth-watering?! This meal was easy to prepare and was packed with flavor. The crackers give it a crunchy, salty taste which means that the kids didn’t complain that there was broccoli in it! I left out the poppy seeds because I didn’t have any on hand. This also reheats like a champ. Mm-mm…so good. I am now drooling, so I guess that means I give this recipe a passing grade!

Country Club Chicken {Kayotic Kitchen}

12 Mar

(Click on image for source.)

(Review by Marci)
It is still winter weather up here in Washington State. Of course, if you ask anyone who has lived here for more than two years, this is actually spring weather!  Coming from spending 10 years soaking up the sun in Arizona, I say if I still have to wear gloves and a hat or snow is still in the forecast, it is winter.  Last year “winter” lasted until July!  So, with the cold still seeping into my bones, I was in the mood for some hearty comfort food.  When I saw the photo of Kayotic Kitchen‘s Country Club Chicken on Pinterest, I bundled up the kids and headed to the store for the ingredients. (Side Note: If you have ever gone grocery shopping with kids, you already know that I forgot half the items on my list.)  Check out the recipe here.
This meal took every ounce of my cooking abilities.  Kay has some beautiful photos of the steps involved, and there are a lot!  Luckily, since I forgot the mushrooms and apples, I got to skip those steps.  It still took the full 90 minutes to make.  The one thing that made me a little nervous was that you don’t drain the bacon grease.  It becomes the base for the sauce.  While this made for a delicious, mouth-watering dish, I couldn’t help but apologize to my heart and waistline for what I was about to do to them
Verdict: Pass (with a side of guilt).  This was A.MAZ.ING!  Mine did not look nearly as pretty as Kay’s photos and the kids were a little wary when they saw it, but we all loved it.  My dad came over for dinner that night and kept exclaiming, “This is SO good!”  My stomach was not very happy with me the next day, but I still ate the leftovers for lunch.  Next time I would like to try it with all the ingredients; I wonder how it will affect the flavor.  Overall, a great cold-weather comfort food!

Coffee Bacon Sandwiches {Joy the Baker}

6 Mar

Coffee Bacon Sandwich

(Review by Denise)

Yes, you read that right. It really says coffee bacon. I would not be surprised if soon, because of Joy the Baker, urban cafes across the country will begin serving the stuff. Hipsters will line up at the doors. Eventually the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives will feature a place in San Francisco or Portland that serves it and Guy Fieri will say, “This coffee bacon just took me to Flavor-town. This stuff is money.” Check out the recipe here. While you’re there, just check out Joy the Baker. It is my favorite food blog. (She just released a cookbook, too!)

When I made the coffee marinade for the bacon, it scared me. It looked like tar. And don’t do what I did and try the stuff on your fingertip!! Gack! (That is, unless, you just love to snack on coffee grounds. In which case I suggest you may need a coffee intervention.) And the goat cheese spread? Have you gone over there yet and read the ingredients? There are no words. I made our sandwiches on a local baker’s sourdough bread. I knew this sandwich called for something other than plain ol’ bread.

Not burned bacon. Coffee bacon.

Verdict? Pass. As in, this is the best sandwich I think I’ve ever eaten. It was also the strangest sandwich I’ve ever eaten. One bite and I had to pause from chewing and reflect on all the flavors going on in my mouth. Every bite got better. My man and I were so sad there were only the two. How on earth did Joy invent this utopian sandwich? She is some sort of genius, weighing each flavor in a magical flavor scale until each one perfectly balances with the others. The Coffee Bacon Sandwich was edible harmony. I never knew that was possible.