Friday, December 14, 2012

Caramel Cashew Clusters


This Christmas candy looks very time intensive, but it isn't. What it is, is delicious. The caramel hardens  and makes this so chewy and the cashew add the perfect amount of sweetness. The chocolate that is drizzled over it gives it the perfect look and not too mention, when does chocolate not make something better? If you are making these, go ahead and make a double batch. They are too good not to!
Source: My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:
30 individually-wrapped Caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons of Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cup of Cashews, halves and pieces, salted
1/2 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips + teaspoons of vegetable shortening, or some semi-sweet baking bark

Directions:
First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Next, place a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt the caramels and cream together. Stir constantly until the caramels are fully melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now, using a rubber spatula, fold in the cashews and vanilla.

Next, using a tablespoon measuring spoon or cookie scoop, measure out a tablespoon of the mixture and place on parchment paper. Place 2 inches apart.

Now, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chips and shortening or just the bark in 30 second intervals until melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the clusters.

Store these in the refrigerator on parchment paper, bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peppermint Bark


It just isn't Christmas without some things, and here in the Barbee household it is peppermint. Peppermint bark to be exact. You know the delicious Ghiradelli chocolates that only come out around the holidays in peppermint flavor, yeah those. Ethan loves them, I know you are thinking what doesn't this man love? He is actually pretty picky, this blog is just kind of dedicated to the food that he loves.

Anyway, back to the peppermint bark. There are some that have three layers, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and then peppermint, and then there is my kind. It is not the most beautiful in the world, but the taste is amazing and the simplicity can. not. be. beat.  It's great, so save yourself from a few extra splurges on the candies from the store and make this, you won't regret it and neither will your bank account!
Source:

Ingredients:
6 squares of Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
12 squares of White Baking Chocolate
60 peppermints, unwrapped and crushed

Directions:
First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Next, place the white and semi-sweet chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl and heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stir, and heat in 30 second intervals until it is completely melted.

Now, stir in about 50 of the peppermint candies.

Next, pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread to desired thickness. Sprinkle the remaining 10 peppermints on top. Harden in the refrigerator and then break into pieces.

Store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maple Snickerdoodles


I was very intrigued by this unique combination of maple and snickerdoodle and made this cookie within minutes of reading the recipe. I am glad I did because these were a big hit. The maple flavor is not too strong or overpowering, it just adds a nice little unexpected touch in a snickerdoodle.

They were soft, chewy, cinnamony, sugary, mapley, and downright delicious. When they first came out of the oven I literally had to shoo Ethan out of the kitchen. He was inhaling them, I wasn't going to have any for my care packages. I limited him to 6, he had already eaten 2, so I set aside 4 more. I have since made another batch.
Source: Allrecipes.com, via PreventionRD


Ingredients:
2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 cup of Butter
1 1/2 cups of Sugar, divided
1 Egg
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup, divided

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Now, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Gradually add the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Next, in a small bowl, stir the 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup together. Set aside, next to the cookie sheets.

Now, form the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll it in the maple/sugar mixture, and place on the cookie sheet. Place them 2 inches apart.

Bake 8-9 minutes. The cookies will be crackly and not look set in the middle yet, they are ready. Remove from the cookie sheets and place on a wire rack to cool.

Yields: approx. 3 dozen

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread


When I am meal planning for the week, I try to be realistic. This means that on Friday or Saturday night we are going to want to go out with our friends, so that is usually our meal out for the week. Then I know that the other night, we will be watching football, UFC, etc on TV at home and the urge for take-out will hit. I have started planning a snacky dinner for these nights. It is usually a homemade pizza variation or homemade wings. Ethan's favorite part about ordering pizza is the dessert pizza or cinnasticks, so I knew I had to make this.

This was so much fun to make. I made the dough Saturday morning when we first got up, and let it rise all day until we were ready to make it. We also had Pepperoni Pull Apart Bread with it. I will be showcasing that after all of the holiday treats have made their rounds.

I think this would be perfect for Christmas morning. It is easy to make, delicious, and portable. You don't have to sit down with a knife and fork in the middle of all of the gift wrapping (now torn to shreds) and new presents spread out for viewing.
Source: Dainty Chef, via Joy the Baker

Ingredients for the Dough:
2 3/4 cups of All-Purpose Flour, plus more as needed
1/4 cup of Sugar
1 package of Instant Yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
4 tablespoons of Butter
1/3 cup of Milk
1/4 cup of Water
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs

Ingredients for the Filling:
4 tablespoons of Butter
1 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of Nutmeg

Directions:

First, in a large mixing bowl, I used my stand-mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.

Now, in a cup or small bowl, whisk together your eggs. Set aside.

Next, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and milk together. When it is just melted, remove from heat, and add the vanilla and water. Set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes.

Now, pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix with your stand mixer and dough hook, your hands, or a wooden spoon. When the ingredients are combined, add the eggs, and keep combining the ingredients together until they are well incorporated. Now, add the additional 3/4 cup of flour and knead for about 3 minutes. The mixture will still be sticky.

Next, get a large bowl out and spray it with cooking spray or coat it with olive oil. Place the bread inside and cover with plastic wrap and then place a kitchen towel on top of it. Place in a high, warm spot to rise. Alternatively, you can place in the refrigerator overnight, just set it out for 30 minutes on the counter to come to room temperature before continuing to the next step.

It is time get the dough back out, lightly flour a working space, and deflate the dough and knead with 2 tablespoons of flour. Leave on the counter and cover with kitchen towel for 5 minutes.

Now, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt until browned. Set aside.

While the butter is browning,in a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Next, grease and flour a loaf pan, 9x5x3 inch. Set aside.

Back to the dough, use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 12x20 inch rectangle. Use a pastry brush to brush the butter on the dough. Sprinkle all of the filling over the dough, it may seem like a ton, but use it all.

Slice the dough vertically into 6 equal size strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice into 6 equal slices again. You should have 6 stacks of 6 strips. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan. Place the kitchen towel over the pan and let rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.

Place the loaf pan into a pre-heated oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes, you want it to be a dark golden brown to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges and invert onto a serving tray.

Start pulling away!

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, December 7, 2012

Haystacks


More Christmas candy! I have had these many times before, but with white chocolate. Ethan loves butterscotch, so I thought I would try them this way. These were so perfect and once again, easy! There are only 4 ingredients, which all go together perfectly for this wonderful crunchy snack.

I had to double this recipe because it did not make near enough. Ethan walked in the kitchen and said he could eat all of them and that we needed more for our friends! These are best kept in the refrigerator, they can get soft after sitting out, or maybe it is just the 70 degree weather here in Texas?!
Source:About.com

Ingredients:
1 cup of Butterscotch Chips
1/2 cup of Peanut Butter
1/2 cup of Peanuts
2 cups of Chow Mein Noodles

Directions:
First, set up a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

Next, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips and peanuts for 1.5 minutes on high. Stir to combine any chips that did not melt. Microwave in 30-second intervals after this until melted.

When the chips and peanut butter are melted, fold in the peanuts and noodles. Cover all of the ingredients well.

Now, using a tablespoon measurer drop one tablespoon of the mixture onto the wax paper.

Let harden at room temperature or place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden faster.

Store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Salted Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark


This holiday treat will be gone in minutes. It is one of those ever-so-addicting snacks that has you coming back for more. It is sweet, salty, and crunchy.

Here are some comments from people that have tried this, aka, my husband.
"Delicious, Jack"- he has been watching way too much Duck Dynasty.
"Really good."
"It's a holiday hit."
I may not go to him again for his comments on food. Regardless of his unappetizing comments, he really did love this salted chocolate toffee pretzel bark.

This was really easy to make and tastes more impressive than it looks!
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients:
8 oz. of Mini Pretzels, broken into smaller pieces, about 1/2 of a 1 lb. bag
1 cup of Butter
1 cup of Light Brown Sugar, packed
2 cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Sea Salt

Directions:
First, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, line an 11x17 in. pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the pretzels onto of the paper, to cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Now, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat with the butter and brown sugar in it. When the mixture starts to gently bubble, let it cook for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and pour over the pretzels, try to cover them all.

Next, bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let them melt for 2-3 minutes, then spread them gently with a spatula or spoon. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.

Let the bark cool and room temperature and then place in the refrigerator if the chocolate needs to harden more. Break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas White Trash


This is one of our favorite Christmas treats. It is so easy to make and has all of the right components. It has a little salty, a little sweet, and lots of chocolate. This may be my husband's favorite Christmas treat of all, which is why I am sharing it first.

It isn't Christmas without Holiday baking. I spent the entire past weekend in the kitchen making all types of Christmas treats, so I am going to hold off on some of the savory, delicious, recipes I have been making for dinner and share all of these treats with you. They are perfect to wrap up and give to your neighbor, hair stylist, mail-man, trash-man, best friends, co-workers, and family. This Christmas White Trash is a favorite with everyone and a classic.
Source: Cooking With K

Ingredients:
24 oz. Vanilla Almond Bark
6 Cups of Rice Chex
3 cups of Pretzels
16 oz. of Peanut M&M's

Directions:
First, line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Set aside.

Now, in a large bowl add the chex, pretzels, and m&m's together. Set aside.

Next, in a microwave-safe  bowl, heat the bark on high for 45 seconds, stir, and then on high for 1.5 minutes. Stir well.

Now, pour the melted bark over the chex, pretzels, and m&m's. Fold the chocolate over each piece, until well coated.

Finally, pour the mixture onto your lined cookie sheet and let harden, you can place in the freezer to speed up the process. Once the mixture has harden, break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, November 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Truffles



These are the perfect addition to your holiday baking collection. Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate? These are so easy to make and so addicting. The creaminess from the cream cheese makes them easy to eat and keeps everyone coming back for more. These were a big hit in my house and I can't wait to make more to give away as Christmas gifts!
Source: TasteBook

Ingredients:
1 package of Nutter Butter Cookies
1 package of Cream Cheese, softened, 8 oz.
Chocolate Candy Melts or Almond Bark

Directions:
First you are going to crush the cookies, you choose your method. There are many put in a ziplock and pound, ziplock and rolling pin, or the more conventional food processor. Crush all but 5 of the cookies.

Next, add the cream cheese to the crushed cookies. Use the back of a large spoon to help the mixture come together.

Now, get out a sheet pan and cover it with wax paper.

Next, make one inch balls with the cookie mixture and place onto the wax paper. When all of the cookie mixture is rolled into balls, stick the pan into the freezer for one hour.

After one hour, melt the candy coating as directed on the package.

Now, using a spoon cover the balls in the candy coating, tap off the extra, and slide back onto the wax paper to dry.

Keep in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creamy Cole Slaw


Sometimes you just need that perfect coleslaw recipe, that is the case with this one. Don't get me wrong, I love the Cilantro-Jalepeno Coleslaw, but sometimes you just need an old-fashioned creamy version.

This coleslaw really is perfect, it has the right amount of celery salt for taste, vinegar to add some acidity and cut the mayonnaise, and sour cream for some extra creaminess. This slaw is perfect on sandwiches or as a side dish. My mom recently was telling me of all of the foods that were on the table when she was growing up and she said, "and of course, always cole slaw." It really does go with everything.
Source: Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
1 bag of Shredded Cabbage & Carrots, or 1 Head of Green Cabbage & 2 large Carrots finely shredded
3/4 cup of Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Sour Cream
2 tablespoons of Grated Onion
2 tablespoons of Sugar
2 tablespoons of White Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Dry Mustard
2 teaspoons of Celery Salt
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
First, place the cabbage into a large bowl.

Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour this over the cabbage mixture.

Now, mix well to combine and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos


This was one of those dinners that really blew me away, in a good way. I told all of my friends and family about these as soon as I could, so that they too, could make them. They do not have too much spice, just the right amount of heat and the crunch from the fresh vegetables and peanuts are great.

These tacos were one of those meals that I could not wait to eat the leftovers of, and they reheated perfectly. I had these on my "to make" list for way too long, do not make that mistake. They took about 30 minutes from start to finish to make, and probably eat, as well.
Source: Cooking Light, via Prevention RD

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons of Soy Sauce, divided
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons of Cornstarch, divided
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
2 tablespoons of Canola Oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons of Honey
1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons of Rice Vinegar
1 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek, ( ground fresh chile paste)
1 Garlic Clove, large and minced
3 tablespoons of Peanuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup of Celery, about 2 stalks, chopped
8 Corn Tortillas
1/3 cup of Green Onions, sliced
1/2 of a Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
4 Lime Wedges

Directions:
First, place the bite-sized chicken pieces in a large ziplock with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. After the chicken is coated with soy sauce, add 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the ziplock and shake to coat the chicken well.

Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil, swirl to coat. Add  the chicken to the pan cook for 3 minutes on each side until cooked thoroughly, about 6-7 minutes total.  With 1-2 minutes left add the celery and peanuts.

While the chicken is cooking, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sambal oelek. Stir this mixture with a whisk until smooth, do not skip this step, or it will not make a smooth sauce. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes until slightly thick, stirring twice. Stir in the garlic.

Now, pour the sauce over the chicken, celery, and peanuts, making sure to coat all of the chicken.

Next, cook the corn tortillas for a few minutes on each side on a griddle pan over medium-high heat or under a broiler until slightly blistered.

Finally, divide the mixture into the tacos and top with green onions and red bell peppers.


Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bacon and Gouda Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


This is one of those dinners that you save for a special occasion. It is delicious and amazing, and pretty easy to make. It would be perfect if you are having guests, you could roll up the tenderloin and sear it, then it bakes for 40 minutes. This is the kind of meal I like to serve when having guests, because you aren't running around like a mad woman when they come in. You can relax and serve them a drink and chat while the potatoes and pork are in the oven baking and with a simple salad this is a complete meal.

The herbs add the perfect seasoning to the tenderloin and of course, the gouda and bacon take it to a whole different level. This recipe does not disappoint and was a favorite in our house.
Source: elly says opa! 

Ingredients:
1 Pork Tenderloin, 1 lb.
1/4 pound of Bacon, thick-cut, and chopped, about 5 slices
3 oz. of Smoked Gouda
1/2 teaspoon of Dried Parsley
1/2 teaspoon of Dried Sage
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/8 teaspoon of Salt

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Now, place a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until done, about 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set pan aside.

Next, butterfly your pork tenderloin and pound it slightly to thin it out. Season it with the parsley, sage, salt and pepper. Top with the gouda and bacon.

Now, roll the pork tenderloin up and secure with twine or toothpicks, tri-fold like a letter.

Next, place the skillet with the bacon drippings back over medium-high heat. When hot, sear the pork tenderloin on each side, 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is brown.

Finally, place in the oven for 35-45 minutes until fully cooked. My oven needed about 40 minutes.

When the tenderloin is done, remove from the oven and make an aluminum tent over the skillet and let the pork rest for ten minutes before slicing.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Apricot Glazed Green Beans

Forget the canned green beans, these fresh green beans are cheaper and take about 3-4 minutes longer. These would be the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving meal. I could not get enough of these.

They are savory from the bacon, sweet from the apricots, and you get a fresh crunch from the green beans. These take no time to prepare and your tastebuds will be ever thankful. So this year, give the green bean casserole a break and prepare these, I promise, no one will even notice that the casserole is missing!
Source: Tide and Thyme, via Women's Day

Ingredients:
1 lb of Fresh Green Beans, trimmed
6 pieces of Bacon, cut into pieces
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup of Apricot Preserves
3 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. When the water is boiling, place the green beans in and cook for 3-4 minutes. While they are boiling, get a bowl and fill it with ice water. When the beans are done cooking, immediately place them into the water to stop the cooking for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water and set aside.

Next, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and put on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Now, add the garlic and shallots to the skillet, let brown, 1-2 minutes. When brown, stir in the preserves, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Let this cook until the preserves have melted down, add the green beans to the pan and toss to coat.

Transfer to another bowl or serve from the skillet.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple Cider Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice


This meal can be prepared and on your table in less than thirty minutes. That is a winner in a book, plus, it is healthy and has great fall flavors. We loved this easy meal and I have a feeling the browned butter-pecan rice will be making an appearance with more of our meals. The butter and the toasted pecans give a great nuttiness to the rice. The apple cider glaze from the chicken was perfect, it wasn't too sweet and it did not overpower the dish, it was just right.
Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts, cut in half horizontally
3/4 teaspoons of Salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/2 cup of Apple Cider, refrigerated
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup of Chopped Pecans
2 tablespoons of Butter
2 Servings of Rice, your choice- minute rice, boil-in-a-bag, leftover rice, or make your own (this will make the recipe take longer than 30 minutes)

Directions:
First, prepare your rice according to the package, omitting the salt. Set aside.

While the rice is cooking, season your chicken breasts with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

Now, melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat in an iron skillet. When the butter has melted, cook the chicken, about 3 minutes on each side, or until done. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and transfer it to a plate covered with aluminum foil to keep it warm.

Next, add the apple cider and mustard to the pan, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is syrupy, add the chicken back to the pan. Coat the chicken in the sauce and remove the pan from the heat.

Melted the remaining tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let the butter brown for 2-3 minutes, lower the heat to medium and add pecans. Let this toast the pecans, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the rice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the butter and pecans, toss to coat.

Serve the rice underneath the chicken. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, November 16, 2012

Peanut Butter Candy Pie


This is a perfect pie to make in October and November. You probably still have a few pieces of Halloween candy left and they need to be used up. This is easy for little ones to help you with and it is so convenient to make and it looks so festive. You can use a variety of whatever chocolates and candies you have on hand. Peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination there is out there, people. It doesn't get any better or any more simple than that.
Source: Delish

Ingredients:
1 package of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 16.5 ounces and refrigerated
1 cup of Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup of Reese's Pieces
1/2 cup of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, press the cookie dough into a ungreased pie pan or a baking dish. Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the cookie is done.

Now, remove the cookie from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let them stand to melt. When they have started melting use a spoon and spread evenly. Let the cookie cool slightly and then sprinkle the candies over the top.

Finally, cut into wedges and serve warm and if you dare, with vanilla ice cream on top.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, November 15, 2012

PB & J Yogurt


I love making different toppings for my yogurt in the morning, so I don't get bored of eating yogurt every morning! That is why I make so many different granolas, like this sweet and salty one and the surfer granola. This is a different twist and something I loved! 

This is one of my favorite toppings, you have peanuts, strawberries, peanut butter, and strawberry jelly. You get lots of different textures from the creamy peanut butter, crunchy peanuts, bursts from the strawberries. It is amazing. This was a nice change from the normal and will definitely be on rotation for breakfast, on the days I don't have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch! You can add more jelly or more peanut butter depending on your preferences. You could also use grapes and grape jelly! This is so easy to throw together, the real work is making the perfect bite.
Source: Skinnytaste

Ingredients:
6 oz. of Greek Yogurt, plain 
1 tablespoon of Strawberry Jelly. reduced sugar
1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter, reduced fat
1/4 cup of Unsalted Peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of Strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:
First, put the yogurt in your bowl of choice for eating breakfast. Then top with the jelly and peanut butter. Sprinkle with peanuts and strawberries. 

Enjoy!



Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken


This one of those meals that you can easily throw together at a moments notice. The ingredients are about as basic as it gets, you are sure to have them in your kitchen. It is not a fancy meal, by any means, but it is a meal that everyone will enjoy, including the kids.

I love finding new ways to cook boneless and skinless chicken breasts. They are easy, tasty, and Ethan and I both like them. Some of our favorites have been Alice Springs Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Rosemary Lemon Skillet Chicken, literally the list could go on and on and on. Just take a look in the recipe index at the Chicken tag.

This chicken stayed super moist and the breading provided the perfect crunch. The cheddar cheese is mixed in with the breading that you will not notice just by looking at the chicken, it will be a surprise to the taste buds. We served this chicken with macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli. It was delicious and once again, one of Ethan's favorites. He said it was his favorite chicken dish. He is so easy to please!
Source: Jamie Cooks it Up

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Sleeves of Ritz Crackers, crushed finely
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1/8 teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 cup of Milk
3 cups of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon of Dried Parsley

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Now, you are going to get your breading station set up. Get out three small bowls or pans to do your dredging in. Place the milk in one, the cheese in the next, and the cracker crumbs with the salt and pepper mixed together in the final one.

Next, dip the chicken in to the milk, followed by the cheese, and then the crackers crumbs. Try to really press down on the cheese to make it stick, by the end your cracker crumbs will be crackers and cheese.

After you have coated all of your chicken breasts, arrange them in a 9 inch x 13 inch pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the extra cracker crumbs and cheddar cheese on top of chicken and sprinkle with the dried parsley. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to get a pretty crisp.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits


This a serious comfort meal, not only is it delicious, but you will spend about 10 minutes preparing it. Your crock-pot will do all of the work, and the grits take about 5 minutes to prepare. My husband wanted a pot roast and when I saw this recipe I just knew we had to have it.

The cheddar ranch grits are savory, delicious, cheesy, all of the right things. The grits are thick, not runny, this is perfect in my opinion. After you pour the gravy, from the pot roast, over the grits it is just the right consistency. This recipe is easy to half and works perfectly, I halved it for us and we still had leftovers!

Ethan, who does not even like grits, loved this dish, including the grits. They really were the perfect fit for each other and were a nice change from mashed potatoes!
Source: Plain Chicken

Ingredients for the Roast:
1 94-5 lb.0 Chuck Roast, boneless and trimmed of fat
2 teaspoons of Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
1 can of Coca-Cola, 12 oz.
1 bottle of Chili Sauce, 12 oz.
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons of Hot Sauce
1/4 cup of Milk
3 tablespoons of Cornstarch

Ingredients for the Grits:
1 1/2 cups of Quick Cook Grits
3 cups of Chicken Broth
4 tablespoons of Butter
2 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing Mix
2 cups of Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Directions:
First, prepare the roast. Sprinkle it with garlic salt and pepper and rub it in all over the roast.

Next, place it in your crock-pot and get out a medium bowl. Whisk together the coca-cola, chili sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Pour this mixture over the roast and let cook for 5-6 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low.

After the time has lapsed, remove the roast from the crock-pot and place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Add the milk and cornstarch to the crock-pot and whisk in well, let this simmer uncovered on high for 15 minutes to let the gravy thicken.

Now, make the grits. In a medium pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil and stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter, ranch, and cheese, until the cheese is melted.

Serve with the roast and gravy topping the grits.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crock-Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup



It is 48 degrees here in Texas. This is the coldest it has been all fall, I think. I am going to share the best  baked potato soup recipe with all of you. It takes a little more work than just throwing everything in and not thinking about it again, but it is so delicious and worth every single extra little step.

This is one of Ethan's favorite soups, so I could not wait until it got cold to make it, literally. We were eating soup and it was bright and sunshiney outside. We both loved it, and he had plenty of the leftovers. He even proclaimed that he couldn't wait until we had it again! I will never use another loaded baked potato soup recipe again, it is the perfect one.
Source: Pink Parsley

Ingredients:
8 slices of Bacon, thick-sliced and chopped
1 Onion, large and minced
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Dried Thyme
2 tablespoons of Flour
4 cups of Chicken Broth, low sodium
3 pounds of Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded, plus more for topping
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
1/2 cup of Light Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper
Sliced Scallions

Directions:

First, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is crispy, 5- 7 minutes. When you are done cooking the bacon, place it on a plate lined with paper towels and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Next, discard of the bacon grease except for 2 tablespoons. Saute the onions in the skillet with the bacon grease until browned about 8 minutes. Now, add the garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook for about one minute and stir in the flour. Stir constantly for one minute and then whisk in one cup of chicken broth. Scrape up the brown bits in the skillet with the whisk and cook until the mixture has thickened. When the mixture has thickened, pour into the slow cooker.

Now, stir the remaining three cups of broth, potatoes, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper into the crock-pot. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on low. If you want to leave this for longer, 6-9 hours, cut your potatoes into 1 inch pieces.

After the time has lapsed, transfer three cups of potatoes to a medium bowl and add the heavy cream and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Now, place these potatoes back in the crock-pot. Stir in the sour cream and cheddar cheese. Let this heat thoroughly, about 10 minutes.

Now, it is ready to serve. Heat the bacon up in the microwave, about 30 seconds, and place on top of the soup along with shredded cheese and scallions.



Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken


As I have said before, we do not have a go-to Chinese place here.  I used to want to eat Chinese food every time we went home to see our families, but now that I am having success with my two favorites, sesame chicken and now sweet and sour chicken, there is no more of that.

This dish is really easy to make. The chicken breasts are cut into 1 inch pieces, so a few chicken breasts go a long way. I made this dish with four chicken breasts, we easily could have fed six people. Feel free to halve the recipe. This is great with steamed rice and a side of steamed broccoli. Another plus is that the leftovers heat up wonderfully!

This was one of our favorites. I was a little skeptical of the sauce, because I think they can be either a hit or miss. This one was definitely a hit and it turned out perfectly in my opinion.
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients for the Chicken:
4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of Cornstarch
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of Canola Oil

Ingredients for the Sauce:
2 1/2 cups of Sugar
3/4 cup of Ketchup
1 1/2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
3 teaspoons of Garlic Salt

Directions:

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, liberally salt and pepper the chicken pieces.

Now, put the cornstarch in a gallon ziplock bag and place chicken inside, zip, and shake to coat the chicken well.

Next, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.

While you are waiting on the oil to heat up, whisk the egg in a shallow bowl and place next to the stove.

When the oil is heated, dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture and then place into the skillet. Brown for 1-2 minutes on each side and move to a 9 inch x 13 inch pan. Add more oil to the skillet as needed to brown all of the chicken.

When you are done browning the chicken, make the sauce. Whisk all of the ingredients for the sauce together and over the chicken.

Bake for one hour. Turn the chicken a few times in the sauce while baking.

Serve over steamed rice.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Marinated Asparagus




Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. However, Ethan does not like it, so I buy a bunch of it and then roast some each night. This preparation is great because I can make it one night and just eat it all week long, if it makes it that long. The marinade is perfect and it just gets better over time.

The burst from the tomatoes combined with the bite from the cheese and the heat from the red pepper all work together to make this my favorite side dish and preparation of asparagus.
Source: Southern Living

Ingredients:
2 pounds of fresh Asparagus
2.5 oz. of Feta or Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 package of Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:
First, snap the ends off of the asparagus and place in boiling water for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, remove from boiling water and plunge into a bowl of ice and water, to stop the cooking.

Remove the asparagus from the ice-water bath and place into a container that you will use to marinade in the refrigerator. Put the tomatoes and cheese in the same container.

Now, whisk the olive oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes together and pour over the asparagus.

Cover and place in the refrigerator until time to eat.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cake Batter Pancakes



Cake for breakfast is always a winner, but it is not always acceptable, sometimes it is even frowned upon. Have no fear, I have found a way that they are completely acceptable. Pancake form! These took no time to whip up and I had two men eating them faster than I could make them, not to mention adding extra sprinkles and more syrup.
Source: The Dainty Chef

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Flour
1 cup of Yellow Cake Mix
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1 teaspoon ofBaking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups of Buttermilk
1/2 cup of Milk
2 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon of Almond Extract
1/3 cup of Sprinkles

For the Syrup:
1 Cup of Whipping Cream/Heavy Cream
Powdered Sugar

Directions:

First, get out a large bowl. Whisk the flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, soda, and the salt together. Set aside.

Now, in a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract together. When mixed, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well. After combined, fold in the sprinkles.

Next, let's make the syrup. Mix one cup of whipping or heavy cream with powdered sugar until you achieve desired consistency.

Now, time to make the pancakes. Heat a griddle pan over medium-heat. When ready, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it with pancake batter, pour onto the griddle. When bubbles start to pop up, flip the pancake, and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with syrup on top and additional sprinkles if necessary, which they were at my house.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lemon Pepper Wings



Wings are a guilty pleasure. They are so delicious and the perfect game-watching snack. However, they can get pretty expensive if you are ordering for a crowd. While I was in the grocery store, I noticed that the chicken wingettes were fairly inexpensive $3-4 for 12 in my local store. I was shocked. I immediately grabbed four packages and decided this was going to be at our next Dallas Cowboy watching party. Of course, I had no idea what to do with them. My master marinade-making husband created this delicious lemon pepper seasoning. The acidity from the fresh lemons was perfect and we will not be ordering wings again, just creating more delicious sauces. Another bonus, they were ready in fifteen minutes, pick-up is never that quick. It really is a win-win situation.
Source: The Barbee Housewife's Husband Original Recipe

Ingredients:
12 Wingettes
Lemon Juice from 2 Lemons
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon of Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Vegetable Oil for frying
Salt and Pepper


Directions:
First, prepare your wings, liberally coat them with salt and pepper.

Next, you can either shallow fry these or use a deep-fryer. Heat your oil to 375 degrees.

Drop the wings in and fry for 10 minutes.

While your wings are frying, make your sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and butter. Heat until melted together.

When the wings are done, immediately place them in the bowl with the lemon juice and butter, sprinkle the black pepper and lemon pepper seasoning on top and toss the wings.

Serve immediately with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife and her Husband

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Mini Muffins


I have been wanting to try and make baked donuts, but the problem with that is, I don't like donuts. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, because I don't like a lot of sweets, but Ethan didn't want them either. What?? This was my reaction. Anyway, I saw these wonderful donut mini muffins, which remind me of donut holes, and these Salted Carmel Chocolate Donuts that Ethan adored.

These could not be easier to make. You mix them up, bake for about 15 minutes, roll in butter and cinnamon-sugar, and eat, immediately. Yes, you heard that right, they are rolled in butter. These are a winner in our house. Ethan loved that he could eat a few for dessert and then have some for breakfast too, both being perfectly acceptable.
Source: All Recipes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Sugar
1/4 cup of Butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon of Nutmeg, ground
1/2 cup of Milk
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 cup of Flour
Additional: 1/4 cup of Butter, 1/2 cup of Sugar, 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

Directions:

First, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, in a large bowl mix the sugar, butter, and nutmeg. Stir in the milk and add in the flour and baking powder until well combined.

Now, grease a mini-muffin pan and fill each cup half full, this recipe should make 24 mini muffins.

Next, bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked.

While the muffins are baking, get out two small bowls. In one have the melted butter and in the other combine the sugar and cinnamon.

When the muffins are done, roll them in butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite things about fall is the pumpkins. They are each unique and make the perfect fall decoration. However, I must confess, one of the reasons I buy pumpkins for decorations is so I can get the seeds out of them! 

I love roasted pumpkin seeds. This year I tried a few different variations of pumpkin seeds and this was, by far, the winner. I will no longer be searching for a pumpkin seed recipe, this is my new favorite. It has just the right amount of heat that compliments the pumpkin seed perfectly.
Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients:
2 cups of Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/4 teaspoon of Cumin
1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

Directions:
First, make sure to wash and pat dry your pumpkin seeds.

Now, pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. 

Next, in a small combine the olive oil, worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Toss the pumpkin seeds in this mixture until they are fully coated.

Now, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray, and spread the seeds on the foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and dried. 

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alice Springs Chicken


I do not think that I will ever have enough recipes using chicken breast. It is a healthy meat choice and you can do so many different things with it, different cuisines, spices, and ways of preparations. This take on a chicken breast for dinner is dredged in a honey-mustard sauce and topped with mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar cheese, then baked and served with more honey-mustard sauce on the side.

This is one of those meals that anyone will like, what is not to like? The honey-mustard sauce is what I think makes this dish a stand-out, it has a little tang and creaminess that is divine. This meal is perfect served with fresh green beans and mashed potatoes.
Source: Amy's Finer Things

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
Seasoning Salt
6 slices of Bacon, thick-cut
1/2 cup of Mustard
1 cup of Honey
4 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
4 teaspoons of dried Onion Flakes
1 cup of Mushrooms, fresh and sliced
2 cups of Colby Jack Cheese, shredded

Directions:

First, liberally cover the chicken breast with seasoning salt. Cover and refridgerate for 30 minutes.

While you are waiting on the chicken, let's make the bacon. Place a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Do not discard the bacon grease.

Now, make the honey mustard sauce, combine the mustard, hone, mayonnaise, and onion flakes in a small bowl, set half aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, brown the chicken for a few minutes on each side in the bacon grease. Place the chicken in a baking dish.

Now for the assembly, coat each chicken breast with one half of the honey-mustard sauce, top with mushrooms, bacon, and cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is completely done. Serve the other half of the honey-mustard sauce on the side for dipping.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, October 26, 2012

Peanut Butter M & M Marshmallow Cookies


There are those cookies that just have it all, and these are the ones. They are delicious, from the peanut butter and chocolate flavor that no one can resist, crunchy from the m & m's, and gooey from the marshmallows. These cookies are very easy to make and they make two full cookie sheets of cookies. I have made these THREE times, and every single time there is not one left. These are one of my go-to cookies.
Source: Sweet Treats & More

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Crisco, butter-flavored and softened
1/2 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Peanut Butter
1 Egg
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
2 tablespoons of Milk
1 3/4 cup of Flour
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 cup of Peanut Butter M & M's
3/4 cup of Mini-Marshmallows

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, in a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Now, in the bowl that you will do the mixing in, beat the crisco. When that is smooth, beat in the peanut butter and both sugars.

Next, beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. When this has combined, slowly add the flour mixture to this mixture and beat until well combined.

Stir the m & m's and marshmallows into your cookie dough.

Now, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon measurement, place the cookie dough in rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes until they are done.

When they are done baking, remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crock-Pot French Dip Sandwiches



This is the perfect weather for your crock-pot. It is starting to get cooler and there is nothing more comforting than coming home from work to a meal that is hot and already ready. All you do is toast a bun and add the meat and cheese and it is perfect just the way it is, but to top it all off there is plenty of au jus to dip your sandwich in.
Source: Coffee and Cannolis


Ingredients:
1 Medium Yellow Onion, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds, intact
3/4 cup of Beef Broth
1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup of Water
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
2 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
3 lb. Chuck Roast
Salt and Pepper
6-8 slices of Provolone Cheese
6-8 Sandwich Rolls

Directions:

First, turn your crock-pot on low. Place the onion rounds in the bottom of your crock-pot. Add the broth, water, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic to the crockpot.

Season the roast on both sides liberally with salt and pepper and place in the crockpot.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the meat can easily be shredded with two forks.

When ready to eat, set your oven to broil, high. Butter each side of the buns and place in the oven. Broil for 30 seconds- 1 minute until browned. Remove from the oven. Set the tops of the buns on a plate. Add meat and cheese to the bottoms and return to the oven for 30 seconds- 1 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and add tops to the sandwiches. Ladle the juices from the crock-pot to small bowls and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese


Do you ever think of two of your favorite foods and think of how good they would be together? Probably not, it is kind of weird, but don't know it until you have tried it. I love my recipe for the Best Homemade Mac n' Cheese and you can't beat the Buffalo Chicken recipe, so I was thinking why not add them together? I already do a variation of chicken and macaroni and cheese in my Twisted Mac n' Cheese recipe and I love it, so this has to be great too. And ya know what, a star was born.

This macaroni and cheese has all of your favorite components from mac and cheese, the pasta, the creamy cheese sauce, and lots of additional cheese combined with the spicy buffalo sauce, ranch mix, chicken, and cream cheese. It's so good it can't be bad, ever.
Source: macaroni from, Alton Brown. Buffaloized by, The Barbee Housewife

Ingredients:
3-4 Chicken Breast
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/2 lb. Macaroni
3 tablespoons of Butter
3 tablespoons of Flour
1 tablespoon of Powdered Mustard
3 Cups of Milk
1 bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/2 package of Ranch Dressing Mix
6 ounces of Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
6 ounces of Italian Cheese Mix, shredded
4 oz. of Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups of Hot Sauce, Louisiana or Frank's
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of Sharp Cheddar, shredded for topping

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, season the chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.  Drizzle the olive oil in a baking dish and place the chicken on top. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. When the chicken is done cut into small pieces or throw it into your stand mixer and turn it on to shred it quickly.

Now, while the chicken is baking, prepare your pasta, according to the package, al dente. When done, drain, and set aside.

Next, in a medium size saucepan melt the butter, when melted add in the flour and mustard and whisk until combined. Stir in the milk, bay leaf, ranch dressing mix and paprika, let this simmer for ten minutes.

Now, stir in the cream cheese until it has melted. After that, add the rest of the cheeses, stirring until well combined. When combined stir in the hot sauce.

Finally, in a large baking dish combine the pasta, cheese sauce, and chicken.  Mix throughly. Top with the shredded cheddar and bake for 20 minutes.

Let this rest for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, October 22, 2012

Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Apples


Pork tenderloin can do no wrong! Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it does have me putting so many different flavor combinations together that I would have never thought to put on pork. For example: the Honey Cajun Pork Tenderloin, the Orange Rosemary Pork Tenderloin, or the Honey-Lime Chipotle Pork Tenderloin, and they all work wonderfully. This my friends is just some added proof that pork tenderloin can do no wrong, maple-mustard glazed pork tenderloin with apples, it is that perfect fall recipe that I have been searching for. 

I was a little hesitant about the maple and mustard not mixing well, but when you add fresh sage and cider vinegar, it is really the perfect combination. They all meld together and are really the perfect glaze for the perfect cut of meat that the pork tenderloin is. 
Source: Eating Well

Ingredients:
1 lb. Pork Tenderloin
3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard, divided
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons of Sage, fresh & chopped- if using dried only use 1/4 teaspoon
2-3 Granny Smith Apples, sliced


Directions:

First, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Next, combine 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard and the salt and pepper together in a small bowl and rub it all over the pork tenderloin. I usually do this on top of wax paper for easy clean-up. 

Now, get out your iron skillet. Place the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in it and heat over medium-high heat. When heated, sear the pork on all sides, you want to achieve a pretty golden brown color all over, about 3-5 minutes. Add the apples into the skillet and place the skillet in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the pork is cooked thoroughly to 145 degrees. Place the pork and apples on a cutting board or plate and let rest for 5 minutes.

Next, place the iron skillet back onto the stove on medium-high heat, add the vinegar and let it come to a boil, while scraping the pan, getting up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the maple syrup and the remaining 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, bring to a boil and then let simmer until the sauce has thickened, stir in the sage. 

Finally, slice the pork and top with the wonderful glaze with the apples on the side. 

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Egg McMuffin Casserole



I am not a big fan of casseroles, ever, but I do see the connivence to them. It is so easy to put everything in one pan and it can usually be made ahead, so I went ahead and gave this one a try.

My husband loves egg mcmcmuffins, loves them. I thought he would love this casserole and a different twist on his favorite, and I was right. It has all of the components of an egg mcmuffin, the eggs, english muffin, cheese, and canadian bacon. This only took about 10 minutes to put together, but it does need to sit in the refrigerator for an 1-24 hours before being made. This is perfect make it the night before and pop it in the oven.

This got the husband's approval and he even went back for seconds and thirds as the day went on. The eggs set up perfectly and you get a bite of english muffin, canadian bacon, egg, and cheese all in one bite. Delicious.
Source: Plain Chicken

Ingredients:
4 English Muffins, split in half
6 oz Canadian Bacon
2 cup of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 Eggs
1 1/4 cup of Milk
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
First, grease an 8 in. x 8 in. baking dish.

Next, cute the english muffins and chop the Canadian bacon into cubes.

Now, place half of the muffins in the pan and top with half of the canadian bacon and then half of the cheese. Do this one more time with the remaining ingredients, muffins, bacon, and cheese.

Next, whisk the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper together. Pour this over the casserole evenly. Let sit in the refrigerator, covered, for 1-24 hours prior to baking.

When you are ready to eat, pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Treats



These are so easy to make and only have 3 ingredients. I am pretty sure this would make any little kid, the happiest {most hyper} kid in the world. In my case, it will make my husband the happiest big kid in the world. He loves fruity pebbles and these were a cinch to make and he is thrilled. They are a twist on the normal rice krispy treats and are fun and colorful, perfect for any party.
Source: Gingerbread Bagels

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons of Butter
4 cups of Mini-Marshmallows
5 cups of Fruity Pebbles

Directions:

First, in a medium saucepan melt the butter on medium-low heat.

When the butter is melted, stir in the marshmallows. Keep stirring until they melt.

Next, remove from heat and stir in the fruity pebbles.

Now, put the mixture in a greased 8 in. x 8 in. pan and press down with a spatula.

Cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo


This is a dish that I have tried a few different versions of and I have finally found the perfect one! Who doesn't love cajun chicken fettuccine alfredo? You really need to make this the next time you have 8 million calories to spare. This is worthy of your diet cheat day, or just the ultimate comfort meal.

My husband said he did not only like this meal, he loved it. He was ranting and raving about it, calling it restaurant quality, etc. I know that anytime I ask him for requests on what he wants for the week, this will be on it.

My favorite thing about this meal was that the ratio of sauce to pasta is perfect. The sauce just lightly coats the pasta. I hate it when the pasta is trying to swim. The cajun chicken is seasoned with just the right amount of spice. I dare say this is better than the other pasta, who shall not be named, at a chain restaurant that gave me the inspiration for this recipe. I think the main reason it is better is because of the chicken. You get nice thick, juicy, moist pieces of chicken breast and it is so delicious.
Source: Table for Two

Ingredients:

1 lb. of Fettuccine
2 tablespoons of Butter
3-4 cloves of Garlic, minced
4 oz. of Cream Cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup of Milk
1 cup of Parmesan Chesse, grated or shaved
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
3-4 Chicken Breast
1/2 tablespoon of Cajun Seasoning, Tony's works great, this is a very rough estimation on how much I used

Directions:

First, we are going to get the pasta going, cook it according to the package, al dente.

Next, pre-heat your oven to 350.

Now, let's prep the chicken. Get out your chicken breast and cut them into pieces, you want the pieces short and fat not long and skinny, that's the best description I've got, so just go with it. Now sprinkle salt over them and then your cajun seasoning, make sure it gets on all of the sides you want this chicken to be coated in the cajun.

Next, get out a skillet and place it on medium-high heat with the olive oil. When the oil has heated, sear the chicken for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until it has a golden brown color. Sprinkle some more cajun seasoning on it if you feel it has stuck to the pan, or if you just want more spice. Put the chicken in an oven-proof dish or leave it in the skillet, if it is oven-safe, in the oven. Let bake for 15 minutes or until no longer pink.

Now, the alfredo sauce. In a large saucepan heat the butter, when it is melted, add the garlic and let this brown for a minute or two, careful not to burn. Whisk in the cream cheese, while slowly adding the milk. When this mixture has been combined well, stir in the parmesan cheese and let melt. Add the salt and pepper and turn the heat to medium-low and let it bubble, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is finished.

Finally, combine the dish. There are two ways to do this combine the pasta and chicken to the sauce, or combine the pasta and top your dish with chicken, whichever way you choose, just make sure every piece of pasta is coated in this wonderful sauce before serving.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Surfer Granola



I love granola. There are so many different variations of it and you can adjust it to your tastebuds, perfectly. This granola is not overly sweet, all of the sweetness comes from the dried fruit and coconut. You get the saltiness from the pumpkin seeds. This granola has a few more steps than my other granola, which is very equally as delicious but does not have any fruits or coconut. The good thing about granola is that it make take you an hour to make it, but at the end you have a huge container full of it.
Source: Mrs. Regueiro's Plate

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of Old-Fashioned Oats
1 tablespoon of Flaxseeds
3/4 tablespoon of Sea Salt,divided
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 cup of Water, warm
1/3 cup of Honey
4 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil,divided
2 tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup of Pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup of Pumpkin Seeds, shelled {pepitas}
1/3 cup of Sunflower Seeds, raw
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 cup of Cranberries, dried
1/2 cup of Apricots, dried
1/2 cup of Mango, dried
1/2 cup of Coconut, shredded and sweetened

Directions:

First, pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.

Next, prepare two baking sheets. Coat them with non-stick cooking spray.

Now, get out a large bowl and mix the oats, flaxseeds, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, cinnamon, and ginger together. Add the cup of water and give this a quick stir and let sit for 15 minutes to soften the oats.

Next, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine the honey, 2 tablespoons of oil, and brown sugar to a boil.

Now, stir the honey mixture into the oat mixture. Spread the combined mixture evenly onto one of the baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 50-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. When done, let cool.

After the oat mixture is done, increase your oven heat to 350 degrees.

Now, get out a medium bowl and mix the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, sugar, pecans, and pumpkin seeds. Spread this mixture out evenly on the other baking sheet. Bake these until they are toasted, golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. When done, let cool.

Next, get out another medium bowl and mix the cranberries, apricots, mango, and coconut together.

Finally, after the oats and nuts have cooled, combine all three components, the oats, nuts, and dried fruits in a large bowl. Stir to combine well. Store in an air-tight container.

Serve with yogurt, milk, on top of ice cream, or eat it alone!

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Barbacoa Beef


This recipe was such an easy recipe to make and then slow roast all day in the oven. The hard part? Smelling this wonderfulness in the oven all day and waiting until it was fork-tender and falling apart. But, we did wait, and it WAS worth it. The spice pairings were different than anything I had smelled before and it was the perfect combination. This recipe made quite a bit and we enjoyed it in burrito bowls over cilantro lime brown rice, burritos, tacos, and nachos before it was all gone. All perfect. My favorite preparation was on the tacos and Ethan's favorite was with nachos.
Source: Sparks from the kitchen, via Skinny Taste

Ingredients:
3 lbs Beef Eye of Round or Bottom Round Roast, all fat trimmed (very important)
5 cloves of Garlic
1/2 of an Onion
1/2 of a Lime, juiced
2-4 Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, of course we used 4, maybe 5
1 tablespoon of Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon of Ground Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cloves
3 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon of Oil
1 Cup of Beef Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

First, pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees.

Now, place the garlic, onion, lime juice, chipotles, cumin,oregano, and cloves in a food processor or blender to liquify.

Next, heat your dutch oven or stock-pot on medium-high heat and heat 1 teaspoon of oil. While that is heating, cut the meet into four chunks, liberally season with salt and pepper.

Now, turn the heat up to high and brown the meat on all sides. Pour the spices, bay leaves, and beef broth over the meat. Cook this, covered, in the oven for 4-5 hours.

After the 4-5 hours, remove the bay leaves. Shred the meat with 2 forks. If the meat is not tender enough to shred, place it back into the oven until it is ready.

After you shred the beef, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes to let the juices thicken.

Now, it is ready to eat! Choose your favorite preparation.


Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, October 12, 2012

Spicy Sausage Balls


Who doesn't love sausage balls? These are even better than normal because they are spicy and they have a great secret ingredient, cream cheese. The cream cheese keeps them moist and it calms down the spice in the sausage balls. This snack is a must for all football parties and get togethers. Everyone loves them!
Source: Plain Chicken

Ingredients:
1 package of Sausage, Hot
1 package of Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups of Bisquick
4 oz of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
A few splashes of Hot Sauce, I use Louisiana Hot Sauce

Directions:
First, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Next, get out a large bowl and combine all of the ingredients. Combine well with your hands or use your KitchenAid Mixer with the dough hook.

Now, form into one inch balls and place on a baking sheet that is coated with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Garlic Knot Rolls



You know that delicious bread they serve at Italian restaurants or at pizzerias? This is it. It is so delicious without being overly garlicky or buttery. They are not that difficult to make, at all, they just take some time, as any other bread does. We had these one night that I planned on just making a simple pasta dish, so I had plenty of time to devote to these precious knots. It was my first time trying my hand at these and with the help of my Sous-Chef, Ethan, we had these completed in no time.
Source: White On Rice Couple

Ingredients for Dough:
1 3/4 cup of Warm Water
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon of Active Dry Yeast
5 1/2 cups of Flour

Ingredients for Garlic Coating:
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of Butter
8 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 cup of Italian Parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

First, combine the water, olive oil, sea salt , sugar, and yeast in a large bowl, if you are using your KitchenAid Mixer and dough hook, use this bowl. Mix lightly and let the yeast dissolve into the water, about 5 minutes.

Next, add the flour and incorporate well, by hand or by mixer with dough hook. Cover this with a towel and set in a warm spot. Let this rise for 3 hours, or until doubled in size. After this step you can freeze the dough or refrigerate the dough to make it easier to work with. This step is optional.

Now, use a large cutting board for this next part. Coat your cutting board with olive oil, liberally. Get your pans ready, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Now cover your hands in the oil.

Next, divide the dough in half. Slap one half down on the board, and roll it into a rectangle, 5 inches x 16 inches. Slice with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife into 1/2 inch x 5 inch strips. Sprinkle all of the dough strips with flour and roll each strip into a rope. Now tie it into a knot, this knot will not change in size through baking so make them tight knots. Continue until all of your dough is into knots. Putting each pan in a spot to rise while working on the others.

After the knots have doubled in size, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

While these knots are baking, make your garlic coating. In a saucepan combine the olive oil, butter, and garlic. Let this cook until the butter is melted and the garlic has softened and browned, be careful not to burn the garlic. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the parsley.

Finally, when the knots come out of the oven, brush them with the coating immediately or toss them in the bowl.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mini Calzones


These calzones were so easy to make and were so delicious. Those are two components that I love in a dish and also you can custom make them. When they are custom made, I get my spinach in mine and Ethan gets extra pepperoni's in his. These calzones are also great reheated for lunches and you can make however many you need. This recipe is for eight calzones and can be easily halved. The best part about these calzones is you don't have to even make a dough, the dough is made from frozen rolls that just have to rise. Perfection, really.
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
8 whole Dinner Rolls, frozen and unrisen (Rhodes brand is great)
1/2 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
8 ounces of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup of Mozzarella Cheese, grated
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Pepper
Marinara Sauce, optional, for dipping
Any additional toppings- Ground Italian Sausage (cooked), Spinach, Olives, Peppers

Directions:

First, spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cover with a towel and let rise for 2-3 hours.

Now, when you are ready to make a calzone, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Next, let's make the filling. Get out a medium bowl and mix the italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, 1 egg, salt, and the pepper. If you are just making one type of calzone stir in the additional ingredients, if not leave just the cheeses in this bowl.

Now, get the rolls out and place them onto a clean, lightly-floured surface. Roll them out until they are paper thin.

Next, it is time to fill the calzone. If you are just making one type, place the mixture, 3-4 tablespoons, in and fold over to seal. If you are making different types, place the toppings on one side of the calzone, place cheese mixture on top, and top with a few more toppings. Example: layer 3 pepperonis, 2 tablespoons ricotta, 3 pepperonis. Be careful not to overfill the calzones. Seal the calzone with the edges of a fork.

Now, beat your last egg and brush it over the top of the calzone. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve immediately and with marinara, if you like that kind of thing.

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chicken Kiev



This is a classic French dish that I fell in love with the first time I made it. I, like the rest of the world, was searching for a new take on a boneless-skinless chicken breast, and this is it. It has such simple ingredients that really let the chicken shine and has butter and fresh herbs stuffed inside. The butter keeps the chicken so moist throughout the cooking process and melts wonderfully and mixes with the herbs.

This chicken needs to be prepped ahead of time, so it can chill before being cooked, from 1 hour- 24 hours. You can make this dish in the morning or the night before and have dinner basically ready for when you get home from a long day. I served this dish with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, which were the perfect side dishes. The key to this dish is to use real butter and fresh herbs.
Source: Recipe.com

Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon of Green Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of Parsley, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, minced
8 tablespoons of Butter, cut into 4 pieces, + 1 additional tablespoon of Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of Water
1/4 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Bread Crumbs
1 tablespoon of Cooking Oil


Directions:

First, get out four small bowls. In one, combine the onion, parsley, and garlic. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and water. In the next bowl, the flour and in the last bowl, put the breadcrumbs.

Now, on a clean working surface you are going to flatten your chicken. Place a chicken breast in-between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound the chicken until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Do this to all of the chicken.

Next, remove the plastic wrap from the chicken and spread the inside of each chicken with 1/4 of the herbs. Place a piece of butter in the center and roll the chicken breast up with the sides tucked in. I secured the chicken with a toothpick. Repeat with all of the chicken.

Now, for the coating of the chicken. First, coat the chicken in flour, then egg mixture, breadcrumbs, egg, and bread crumbs again.

Place the chicken into a baking dish and cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour and up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, melt the one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

When the butter has melted, add the oil. Add the chicken rolls and cook each breast for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.

Return chicken to the baking dish with the butter and oil from the skillet drizzled on top and bake for 18-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the juices run clear. Remove toothpicks from the chicken at this point, if you used them.

Serve immediately with the drippings spooned over the chicken.


Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife