4/30/15

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Wings and Drumettes on the Grill




Although this can be a great appetizer, I found that if I make a big batch of them, it's a yummy dinner for us!  There is no real recipe - just wrap strips of bacon around chicken wings and drumettes and then salt and pepper them.  Pop them on a grill and cook over medium heat, turning often until the bacon is crisp.

By the time the bacon is nice and crispy, the chicken is done too.  I've made these 3 times in the past two weeks - one time I brushed hot wing sauce on them at the very end of the grill time.  Another time I brushed them with my homemade spicy watermelon bbq sauce (if you missed that one, just do a search for it in the search box to your right in the sidebar).  We actually found we love them without any embellishment or sauces!  Just straight from the grill.  I had blue cheese and ranch dressings on the side to dip but they are incredible even without any condiments!


Wrap bacon around the chicken drummies & wings.  Salt and pepper.  That's it!

Grilling over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the wings are done

Serve as is or with dipping condiments - or brush them with your favorite sauce

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An Old Favorite Post: Pink Lemonade Sandwich Cookies using Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Cookie Mix



Cookie Sandwiches made with Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Cookie Mix and Frosting
New for 2015:  Spring has sprung!  It's beautiful out today (*where I live) and I was thinking about these pink lemonade sandwich cookies I made a few years ago.  Because I don't buy cookie mixes I am not actually sure if they still make these and sell them in the stores, but I have recently seen the blue raspberry and orange dream versions at our local Walmart.  I first posted this in 2012 I think (or was it 2013?) but it's a popular post and I just checked - the cookie mixes are still available on Amazon from Pillsbury if you can't find them at your local retailer.



Here is the original post from a few years ago:

I certainly can't call making cookies with a mix and slapping them together with frosting a 'recipe' so we'll call it a product review.  While grocery shopping last week I walked by a display featuring the Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Flavored Cookie Mix and Pink Lemonade Frosting.  I have only bought a cookie mix once before in my life, since they are so easy to whip up from scratch and usually taste better, however; being a fan of pink lemonade coupled with the bright Spring sunshine that was peeking out from the clouds that day, I gave into impulse and it found its way into the cart.  I knew from the moment I tasted the dough they would be a hit, and they were!  I decided to make them into sandwich cookies and not only are they pretty in pink, they have just enough tang to be lemony and just enough sweetness to balance.




Pink Lemonade Sandwich Cookies

1 box Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Flavored Cookie Mix
(Butter and egg as called for on the box)
1 container Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Frosting

Prepare cookies as directed.  Let cool completely.  Sandwich two prepared and cooled cookies together with about 2 teaspoons of frosting.  Press gently together.  Enjoy!





Thank You to the commenter below!  YES!

I know some of you can't find these in your area any longer. My teenage daughter and I saw them at our local Super Walmart last year and commented that they and the limeade version were so good...  they have since came out with an orange cream and blue raspberry flavor as well.  I will see if Amazon has them and link to them at the bottom of this post if they do.

For those of you who can't find them in your area - you can try making them from scratch!  I think this recipe comes from Betty Crocker or Better Homes & Gardens.  One of the classics!!!!

Pink Lemonade Cookies

1/2 c real butter
1/2 c  sugar
1/2 t  baking powder
1/4 t  baking soda
1 egg
1/3 c of frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 3/4 c flour
2 T butter
2 c  powdered sugar
2 t frozen pink lemonade concentrate
Water

Red food coloring


Mix  1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and baking soda; beat until combined. Beat in egg and 1/3 cup lemonade concentrate. Beat in flour.  Add a few drops of food color to tint pink.

Spoon drops of dough about  2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute; transfer off to cool completely.

Frosting

Beat the 2 tablespoons butter, powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons lemonade concentrate and about 2-3 t water to make spreading consistency.  Add 1-2 drops red food color to tint pink.  Frost.







Amazon does not have many options but I did find two options if you can't find it locally in your area;

Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Flavored Cookie Mix, 17.5 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Flavored Cake Mix, Cookie Mix and Frosting, 4 Count (Pack of 4)




Also available:
Pillsbury Blue Raspberry Premium Cookie Mix
Pillsbury, Orangesicle, Premium Cookie Mix
Pillsbury Key Lime Premium Cookie Mix
 












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4/25/15

Re-posting from 2012.... A healthy, low carb, sugar free Waffle and Pancake Mix


Low Carb Waffles 2012


If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have 'waffles' on the brain this morning.  I went back in my recipes to find my waffle and pancake mix, and was surprised to see I posted it way back in 2012.  That doesn't seem like very long ago until you realize, that was 3 years ago already! 

I need to mix up another batch of this myself so I thought I'd re-post it - and I am adding some links to Amazon for some of the food ingredients in it.  You don't have to use the brands I do...  I know people use many different brands of whey protein powder.  The only kind our family uses is the Nature's Best Isopure brand.  I assume other brands will work as well, but this is the only kind we use (zero carbs and zero sugar) and I know how it works in our recipes. Another thing I want to mention is that I really love Ideal Sweetener - and I link to it below as I buy mine from Amazon because I can't find it locally.  But they raised their prices in the last few weeks and I'm SO not happy about that.  It's still a pretty affordable option compared to some brands of sweeteners, but I'm still bummed. As they've gotten more popular, they seem to be raising their prices to be more competitive with similar products.  I plan on stocking up this morning with another order before it goes up again.  (But... I wish I would have ordered a month ago before they raised it.)

The pictures on this post are pretty bad...  I laughed at them when I saw them, but I've said before - this isn't a foodie 'photo' blog.  It's a website I started almost 10 years ago for my own personal use that grew a life of it's own.  These pictures are not doing the recipe justice, but sometimes I'm just too lazy to take new ones.  *grin*


Waffle and Pancake Mix

2 c finely ground almonds or Almond Flour
1/2 c Oat Bran
1 c Creamy Vanilla Protein Powder
2 T wheat bran flakes
2 T wheat germ
2 T Vital Wheat Gluten w/ Vitamin C
2 1/2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t salt

Blend ingredients in a food processor with a S blade.  Pulse a couple times until well blended.  Store in a Ziploc or other air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.  Makes about 4 cups.  

Waffles

Use 1 cup of your dry almond waffle mix
2 t sweetener of your choice (like Ideal No Calorie Sweetener)
1/2 c half and half
1 egg beat with 1/4 c oil

Stir all together in a bowl while preheating your waffle iron.  Only stir until everything is moist, do not over stir.  Bake according to your waffle iron directions.  Serve with butter and syrup or cinnamon, splenda, whipped cream, or whatever you wish!  This is going to average about 6 carbs per waffle.


Mix just until blended


Bake in your waffle iron
Top with your favorite toppings
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To the women who are "just a housewife" - Happy Mother's Day! Feature: "My Wife Doesn't Work"









My Wife Doesn't "Work"
By Gary Lautens


Is there anything more embarrassing today than being married to a woman who doesn't "work?"
Take Jackie.

She weaves, spins wool, attends classes twice a week at art college and is currently putting together a seven- foot tapestry she designed for the living room. She also whips up a hundred meals a week, irons a dozen shirts, waxes and washes the floors, walks the dog and throws a dinner party once a week.

But she doesn't "work."

She feels a minimum of two foreheads a week (to see if they're warm), listens to enough homework to get a degree from Oxford, runs the family budget, finds things in the basement no other living human being can find, reminds Richard to comb his hair every morning, cheers up Jane when she gets a zit on her face and refinishes furniture.

She does the shopping, locates the bargains, washes gym stuff, keeps track of everybody's underwear, answers family mail, makes certain nobody leaves a ring around the bathtub and takes care of minor medical problems.

But she doesn't "work."

She cuts hair, cleans the filter on the furnace, clips the dog's nails, provides waltz lessons for male members of the family, vacuums, puts treats in school lunch bags for a noonday surprise, hangs up coats, rubs feet when they get cold, provides laughs whether needed or not, removes splinters, gives instruction on the application of eye shadow, announces if it's a boot day, smiles through the recounting of old Monty Python skits and files class photographs.

She doesn't let anyone out of the house without a hug; she tucks Jane into bed every night (even though Jane is fourteen and almost as big as her mother); she knows the postal rates, moves sofas, listens solemnly when someone in the house says he or she is going to be Prime Minister, a famous athlete or just an astonishing detective (Richard's current ambition); she hangs pictures (eighty on our one wall), sews on buttons, visits art galleries.

But "work"? I'm afraid not.

Jackie lengthens jeans, unplugs plumbing, remembers to serve spaghetti once a week (the kids' favorite), picks out newspaper items that might make columns, does thirty sit- ups every morning to stay trim, explains patiently to Richard why he can't wear the same shirt eighteen days in a row and makes Christmas cards.

Mind you, she doesn't jog three times a week now, act as lifeguard at the Y, or take German at night school, and her university class on great books is over.

But she did broadloom Jane's bedroom, make our front- room coffee table (from an old dining-room suite), and (just last week) figured out how to replace the bulb in our slide projector when Daddy had failed.

That is, unfortunately, beside the point.

Jackie does not go to an office, perform brain surgery, drive a truck, belong to a union, type up letters, sell real estate, host a TV show or even wrestle.

In short, she doesn't "work."

Mind you, she did "work" the first three years we were married and trying to get a start, but she quit a month or two before she had Stephen.

So she's just a homemaker, wife and mother now.

Perhaps one day when the kids are a little more grown up, Jackie will "work" again, but in the meantime, I'm afraid she's too busy.




Thanks for checking in - and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there!!!
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4/24/15

Product Review Time: Valley Food Storage - Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato Soup (Food Storage or Camping!)




This week I was able to review a product for Valley Food Storage in return for my honest thoughts and opinions.

If you've read my website for any amount of time, you have probably noticed me mentioning food storage, stocked pantries, cooking in my solar oven, dehydrating foods, reviewing freeze dried long term storage products, etc.  It's not a topic I preach on, but it's just a way of life for us and millions of people in America.  These foods are also excellent for camping or hiking!

The first rule of food storage is basically;  Store what you eat and eat what you store.   And you want to eat (and store) what tastes good and is good for you!

The company. Valley Food Storage started their company after they found a need for good foods that store well.  From their pamphlet they explain what they strive for in their products;
  • All natural ingredients
  • Phenomenal taste
  • No MSG
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No hydrogenated oils
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Ingredients you can pronounce

Whether you are looking at long storage food for an emergency "grab and go bag" or a "get home bag" to keep in your car, long term storage in your home or just looking for really good camping foods - this is a great option.

Everyone likes pictures - so let's commence the review in photos.

The Valley Food Storage foods come in thick mylar, sealed bags.  Made in the USA and up to a 25 year shelf life.  Most seem to be about 5 servings.


The doubting Thomas in me wondered how a bag roughly half filled with product could really be 5 servings.


I should not have doubted.  Don't let the size fool you.


Here is the package just opened.  I could smell various spices and cheeses.  The end product however, smelled very different from the dry package ingredients (much better!).


Bringing 5 cups of water to a boil, you simply whisk in the package ingredients and bring it back to a slow boil.


After about 10-15 minutes the aroma of the soup changes and it starts to really thicken up.

The flavors of the soup get better and better the longer it was setting.  I really liked the soup after one bowl and went back to get seconds.

By the time I got thirds (yes, thirds!) the flavor had changed and improved even more.
I really loved this soup - and my husband did too.




You can see the ingredient list and the nutrients here:


This soup was excellent as it is, but it would also be incredible a second night by adding a little long grain wild rice, some diced or freeze dried chicken and a few mushrooms for an incredible Wild Rice Soup that tastes very similar to one served at a well known restaurant up in Northern Minnesota where we used to live.  I would also not hesitate to make a 3rd way by adding a little extra cheddar and a handful of diced jalapenos.  Oh the possibilities of this simple and delicious soup!!

You can check out  their website for all the different food products as well as easy to order emergency kits that are already put together for you (1 month, 3 month, etc. up to 1 year).   Just a couple things I'll mention to pique your interest are; Lasagna, Mac & Cheese, Mango Habanero Chili, White Bean Chili, Multi Grain Cereal and Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup (which is what I tried!).










I've linked to the company above but I also found their products available through Amazon.  You might also be interested in;
Valley Food Storage Variety Pack
Eden Valley Farms - Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato Soup - Emergency Food Storage - 25 Year Shelf Life
Valley Food Storage One Month Food, Water & Fire Supply (120 Servings)


     





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4/16/15

Mexican Lasagna that fits perfectly in my round baking pot! (Graniteware pot that came with my Sun Oven)




I have made this recipe a thousand times... and I've posted this recipe a handful.
So why post again? 
Because I'm an idiot for not thinking about this sooner and just realized this week (after making this forever and forever) that it fits perfectly in my round Graniteware baking pot!

Humans tend to get into habits without realizing it.  My habit was pulling out the same pans to make lasagna.  Except, this week the 2 rectangle pans were in the dishwasher so I opened up the next drawer down and saw my 2 round baking pans.  I hadn't thought about them because honestly, they came with my All American Sun Oven - (my solar oven) and I don't ever think about using them except when I'm making dishes in the solar oven. 


   I grabbed it - lifted one of my flour tortillas and found it was a perfect fit!

Since I didn't purchase the pan separately myself, I went on Amazon this morning, looked up the sun oven, found the pan that was featured with the sun oven (so I had the right one) and am posting it here.
  • Carbon steel construction
  • Safer than foil roasters
  • Brown better and cook more evenly
  • Porcelain surface is naturally nonstick
  • Dishwasher safe
It's 8.5" inside and rim to rim is 9.75".   So I decided to post this not only as a reminder to me to start using this pan for my Mexican Lasagna (and yes, you can bake it in your Sun Oven of course!!)  but if anyone else could use this hint - there ya go!



Mexican Lasagna

1 - 2 lbs. ground beef, chicken, turkey, etc.
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 t seasoned salt
2 cups diced tomatoes (or use canned if you prefer)
1 T jalapeno's, diced fine (optional if your family hates them)
1 T onion (another option!)
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste with 3 empty cans of water OR use 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c sour cream  OR  ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs
10 flour tortillas (any style - low carb, etc. is fine too) (Only 5 if you use a round pan!)
2 1/2 - 3 c shredded cheese

Cook the ground beef (if you are using) and drain.  If you are using already cooked beef, chicken, etc. place it in a large pan on the stove top.  When hot, add the taco seasoning, salt, tomatoes, paste and water or tomato sauce, jalapeno's and onions if you are using them.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer about 10 minutes while you mix the sour cream OR ricotta/cottage cheese with the eggs in a bowl.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Spread half the meat mixture in a 9X13 inch pan.  Cut your flour tortilla in half.  Layer about 5 of them over the meat.  Spread half the sour cream or cottage cheese mixture over the tortillas.  Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers with the rest of the meat, tortillas, sour cream or cheese mixture and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.  You can now use green olives or black olives on top if your family likes them.

Bake uncovered about 20-30 minutes until golden brown, bubbly and hot.  Let it stand 10 minutes to 'set up' for easier cutting.  You can serve this as is or offer sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.




I used cooked, leftover chicken for this one.  But you can make this with ground beef too.
If you are making it in  a traditional rectangle pan - slice the tortillas in half to layer

Your flour tortillas become the 'noodles'
If you are making it in your round pan and the diameter is 9.75" from rim to rim, the regular sized tortillas fit perfectly!


Here I am layering the meat and cheese between the tortillas (that turn into noodles once cooked)





This version in the traditional pan was topped with olives.  One of a hundred options.  Play with your food!

Let stand about 10 minutes for easier cutting


The items I have are available on Amazon;

All American Sun Oven
Granite Ware 0517-6 Covered Round Roaster


  

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