Friday, June 28, 2013

Chocolate Oreo Lasagna

As the weather starts to warm up, I know the last thing I feel like doing is turning on the oven or stove and heating up my kitchen and house, this is when no-bake desserts are the best. After you make this dessert, you keep it refrigerated, so it is a great, cool refresher.

I am not sure if I have ever made a more decadent dessert, but this was worth it. It did dirty a few dishes, but I would do it again, anytime. This has an oreo crust, then a layer of chocolate pudding, then a cool whip layer, then topped with more oreo crumbs, so. good.

This dessert is one that I will be making for many years, I already know. This is perfect for kids and adults, it makes a large pan, you can make it ahead, and it is one of the best desserts ever!
Source: Stick a Fork in it, via Dainty Chef

1 package of Oreos
1/2 cup of Butter, melted

2 packages of Chocolate Instant Pudding, 3.9 oz. each
3 1/4 cup of Milk, cold

1 package of Cream Cheese, 8 oz., softened
1 cup of Powdered Sugar
2 tubs of Whipped Topping, 12 oz. each

First, crush your cookies. I think a food processor is the easiest way, but I am sure a blender or you hand will be fine as long as you get the crumbs very fine. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbs for the topping. Combine the remaining oreo crumbs with the melted butter. Press evenly into a 9 x 13 inch pan and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the other layers.

Next, in a large bowl, beat the pudding mixes with the milk in a mixer or with a whisk for two minutes. Set aside.

Now, using an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar, until smooth. Add in one of the tubs of whipped topping and fold in, until well incorporated.

Next, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the oreo crust with a spatula, then spread the pudding on top, followed by the remaining whipped cream topping, sprinkle with leftover 1/2 cup of oreo crumbs. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

I love fresh, juicy, peaches. It is so nice to be near a large farmer's market, where I can buy fresh grown, local produce. I am enjoying every second of it. I am definitely going to have a garden for myself next year! Now, that I have access to great fruits and vegetables, I do not have to hoard them and just eat them alone to savor every juicy drop, I can make great recipes, like this Homemade Peach Lemonade.

I decided to let these peaches be the star in this salad. This salad is great for a filling lunch or as a side with your entree at dinner. I was able to get my hands on some fresh mozzarella, which made this salad delicious. This salad does have so few ingredients, that you can really taste each one, so if you have good olive oil, this is the time to use it!
Source: Real Simple, Kate Merker, August 2006

3 Ripe Peaches
1 cup of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
8 oz. of Fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/8 teaspoon of Black Pepper

First, cut your peaches into 6-8 wedges, then cut them again, in half, crosswise. Set in a medium bowl.

Now, add the basil and mozzarella to the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

You can cover and refrigerate for several hours or serve at room temperature.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers

Sweet, sweet, summertime. I love the summer, I love the heat, the pool, the beach, the tan, the grill, I could go on and on. I especially love the grill, grilled foods is one of my favorites, and my husband loves to grill {and he is good at it}, so it works out. These chicken kabobs are easy to prepare, to serve, and to eat.

They have a creamy and spicy sauce that you spread on during the last few minutes of cooking. This sauce is so delicious, you can make it as spicy as you want with the sriracha, according to your own personal preferences. I loved having skewers of chicken and red pepper and onion skewers, it was a breeze preparing and cooking. I made some rice to serve with it and this was a perfect summertime meal that was ready in 30 minutes.
Source: Center Cut Cook

3-4 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Yellow Onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
Olive Oil, a few tablespoons for drizzling
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
1/4 cup of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
5-6 drops of Sriracha, taste and add more if you like, I ended up adding 6 more drops

First, if you are using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes before using. When the skewers are ready, skewer the chicken. Skewer the red bell pepper and onions on skewers, together. Season the chicken and vegetables with salt and pepper, then drizzle them with olive oil.

Now, make the sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, thai sweet chili sauce, and sriracha. Set aside.

Next, pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat, add the skewers, turn every few minutes for even cooking. Cook the veggies for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, and the chicken 10-12 minutes, or until the meat registers at 165-170 degrees. During the last minute of cooking, brush the chicken with the sauce on all sides. Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest a few minutes before eating.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sausage, Peppers, & Onions {Crock-Pot}

A Taste of Home Cooking, has hosted another recipe swap, this one had the theme of "Cooking with Alcohol." I submitted my delicious Champagne Chicken Pasta and received this wonderful recipe for Sausage, Peppers, & Onions, from Sparks from the Kitchen.

I was really excited when I received this recipe for the swap, it had gotten rave reviews from other bloggers- not only for the ease, but it is also a huge crowd-pleaser. I have to say, I agree! This dish did not take long at all to prepare and it makes the perfect sandwich. I served this to a crowd that was over for watching the NBA Finals Game 5. It was so fun and I left the crock-pot on and everyone could just fix a sandwich or two, whenever they were ready to eat. It was the perfect game-food. It was filling, yummy, easy to eat, and no-frills.

I have a 5-quart crock-pot and this was filled to the very top, after about 3 hours, it had cooked down and I was able to mix it all together. If your crock-pot is smaller, I recommend cutting this recipe in half.
Source: I Was Born To Cook, via Sparks from the Kitchen

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 lbs. of Italian Sausage, hot
1 lb. of Italian Sausage, sweet
2 Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
2 Yellow Onions, cut into strips
1 can of Crushed Tomatoes, 28 oz.
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 cup of Dry White Wine
Sandwich Rolls, sturdy like Bolillo Rolls
Provolone Cheese

First, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the sausages on all sides, I did this in four batches, adding the additional tablespoon of olive oil as needed. Place browned sausages in the crock-pot. Place the sliced bell peppers and onions on top.

Next, using your choice of blender/food processor/immersion blender, pulse the crushed tomatoes with the garlic to make a smoother sauce. Stir in the italian seasoning, garlic powder, and white wine. Pour the sauce over the veggies in the crock-pot.

Cook on low for at least 4 hours.

After the time has elapsed, slice open your sandwich rolls and place the sausage, pepper, and onion mixture inside, top with a slice of provolone cheese immediately, so it can melt.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Confetti Chicken Pasta

Lately, when I have been meal planning, I have started incorporating a "pasta day." I usually just do shrimp, fish, chicken, pork, beef, pizza, and date night. However, I realized how many pasta recipes I had bookmarked, and we both love pasta.

This is a great way to incorporate all of the fresh summer veggies into your dinner. This recipe would be really easy to switch out veggies for whatever you have on hand or whatever your favorites are. I am already planning on making it again with squash, zucchini, and onions!

The spicy cream sauce really puts this dish over the top, it is not overwhelmingly spicy, but has the perfect amount of spice. We really enjoyed this pasta, the chicken/veggie/pasta/cream sauce ratio was perfect.
Source: Bake Cakery, via So Tasty, So Yummy

16 oz. Penne Pasta
2 Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Pepper
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, divided
1/2 cup of Red Onion, diced
1 cup of Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 cup of Broccoli Florets
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 cup of Cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of Butter
2 tablespoons of Flour
2 cups of Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated

First, prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

Now, sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken; cook until the chicken is done and golden on all sides. Place the chicken in a large bowl to rest.

Next, in the same skillet add the other tablespoon of olive oil and start sautéing the onion, bell pepper, and broccoli for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional minute.  Remove all of the veggies and add into the large bowl with the chicken.

Now, using the same skillet, still over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and let it cook for one minute. Whisk in the half and half, slowly. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and bring the sauce to a boil. When the sauce begins to thicken and boil, turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan.

Add the pasta to the bowl with the chicken and veggies, pour the spicy cream sauce on top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The smell of freshly baked cookies, it just makes you feel good inside and the smell is insatiable. We recently moved into our house and while it is not completely set up, I could not help entertaining. We had my cousins over to watch the NBA Finals Game 5, as I was trying to put together a menu, for my first cooking experience in my new kitchen, I decided on these cookies. They look fabulous, are fun, and I knew they would make my house smell amazing and homey, even if it did not look that way yet.

These cookies were definitely a success, with adults and kids. They were chewy, gooey, and overall a delicious slam-dunk!
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

1 1/4 cup of Flour
1 1/4 cup of Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
3/4 cup of Butter, unsalted and softened
1/2 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of Golden Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
1/2 cup of White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup of Sprinkles

First, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, yellow cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.

Next, in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together, when creamy, add the egg and vanilla.

Now, gradually add the flour mixture in until it is all combined.

Next, stir in the chocolate chips and sprinkles, until just combined. Do not overmix.

Chill the dough for at least an hour, or up to 4 days. This is very important so the cookies do not spread.

When the time has elasped, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now, scoop rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mats. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pan Seared Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce

In the Barbee household, we eat shrimp and fish about once a week. I know that Ethan is fond of shrimp night and weary of fish night. Last night, that's right, last night, I had to share this recipe with all of you immediately, he proclaimed we could have salmon every week if it tasted like this!

It was really superb, the salmon has a layer of flour and honey before dropping into sizzling olive oil, which forms an excellent crust on the fish. If that isn't enough, it is topped with a browned butter lime sauce, really who can go wrong with browned butter? The citrus from the lime makes this a perfect summer dish. I served it with roasted asparagus and roasted garlic smashed red potatoes, this would also go perfect with Cilantro Lime Brown Rice.

This recipe is for 4 people, but it can easily be halved for 2.
Source: Gourmet Magazine,  July 2006, via Cooking Classy

4 Salmon Filets, 6 oz. each, rested at room temperature for 20 minutes
8 teaspoons of Flour, divided
2 tablespoons of Honey, divided
Zest of 1-2 Limes
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Recipe of Browned Butter Lime Sauce, recipe follows

Browned Butter Lime Sauce:
6 tablespoons of Salted Butter
3 tablespoons of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground

First, set the salmon filets out to come to room temperature. While you are doing this, start your prep work, this recipe will come together if you have all of the ingredients ready, juice and zest the limes, chop the garlic, etc.

Now, you will want to work in batches of two or use two pans at once, two filets per pan. Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating up, sprinkle the top of the salmon with one teaspoon of flour, even it out so it gets on the whole surface of the fish and then drizzle 3/4 teaspoon of honey on top of the flour. When the oil is hot, place the salmon, flour side down into the oil. Let the salmon cook 3-5 minutes, in the last minute, sprinkle one  teaspoon of flour evened out on the fish, and drizzle the honey; flip the salmon and cook another 3-5 minutes.

While the salmon is cooking, place the 6 tablespoons of butter into a light saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the butter is fragrant and has turned a tan shade. Remove from heat. Place the butter, lime juice, garlic, and salt and pepper in a blender/food processor/immersion blender to pulse all of the ingredients together, this is to keep it from separating.

Serve the salmon immediately drizzled with browned butter lime sauce and garnished with lime zest.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, June 17, 2013

Homemade Peach Lemonade

I love the summertime and all of the fruits and veggies that come along with it. Peaches are one of my all-time favorite fruits, however, I have a problem buying a ton and then not being able to eat them all. I have started making all sorts of wonderful things with fresh fruits and this drink was superb.

It is refreshing and wonderful for sipping on the back porch, vodka is also a great addition to it! This is easy to make-ahead in the morning and have ready for an afternoon snack or cocktail drink, when 5 o'clock finally rolls around.
Source: Cooking Light, via 

4 cups of Water
2 cups of Peaches, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Lemon Juice, about 6 lemons
4 cups of Ice
1 peach, pitted and sliced into 8 wedges

First, combine the water, peaches, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and let simmer for 3 minutes.

Now, pour the peach mixture into a blender, with the lid off, to let steam escape, and let stand for 20 minutes. After time has elapsed, blend until smooth and pour into a large bowl.

Refridgerate for at least 3 hours.

If needed, press the mixture through a sieve to remove pulp. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife