Sunday, July 25, 2010

Semi-Permanent Vacation

Wow. I don't even know how to write this. I started this blog last November and it has been an incredible journey. I have had so much fun. Lately, though, its been really hard on me trying to juggle all of the things in my life. The blog takes a lot of time, and I put high demands on myself for the blog. I have decided to take some time off to focus on my family and my job. I can't keep my head straight trying to focus on all three. That being said, I am not shutting it down. I am going to leave the blog up for archive purposes so you can still access all of the old recipes. And I am still cooking. So, when I do come across a good recipe I am going to post it. I just will not have the email updates available or scheduled Match-ups and Menus.

I really hope that you guys understand. I feel so torn with this decision. A part of me really wants to make it work, but I just can't right now. I have to take some time for me and my family. I want this blog to be fun for me. Not a burden. So, I have to re-group. Shannon from The Bargain Buggy and Aubrey from Eastern Shore Mom have both told me that they would welcome a Guest Post any time. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to hibernate for a while :)

Thank you so much for all of the love and support you have showed The Fairhope Foodie thus far. It means so much to me to see how this idea has grown into something so wonderful. My heart aches taking this step back, but it is what is necessary for me at this time.

I also wanted to leave you with some of my favorite food blogs. I get a lot of inspiration from these sites, so please use them and subscribe to their updates if they offer it.

Annie's Eats

Let's Dish

Taste and Tell

Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes

Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

Every Day with Rachael Ray

Taste of Home

Pink Parsley

Foodbuzz (I love the Daily Top 9)

Girl Gone Gourmet



Thank you so much for everything.


Until the next recipe...


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy! This coffee cake was even more delicious than I thought it would be! It really reminded me of the Snickernoodle Muffins I made several weeks ago. It was so moist and delicious. I loved the cinnamon streusel layer running through the middle of the cake. Everybody in my house loved this one. My little Emme was even grunting for more! Shhh....yes, I give my 11 month old cake sometimes :) This is exactly why I love muffins and coffee cakes. It gives you a legitimate excuse to eat cake for breakfast. I was tempted to plop some Blue Bell ice cream next to it! You have definitely got to put this on the weekend breakfast rotation!



2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup (8-oz) sour cream
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11 X 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. Spoon half of the batter into the dish. Sprinkle with half of the streusel topping. Top with remaining batter and streusel. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Taste of Home)

Cowboy Spaghetti

I love finding new recipes to use with the ground beef I keep in the freezer. Some nights when I don't plan a dinner, its nice to be able to grab some out of the freezer, throw it in the pan, and brown it up. I saw this Rachael Ray recipe on a blog that I follow. I had most of the ingredients in my pantry so I knew I had to try it. And I love Rachael Ray, so I figured it had to be good! Usually my spaghetti consists of Ragu, ground beef and noodles. That is all fine and dandy, but I love this hearty twist. And let me tell you that the leftovers are even better the next day! The crumbled bacon on top gives it such a great "cowboy" flavor!



1 box spaghetti noodles
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock
1 14-oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
scallions, for garnish (I omitted these)

Cook noodles to al dente according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary. Leave just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the beef and crumble with wooden spoon as it browns. Drain off excess fat. Add onions and garlic. Stir into the meat and cook until slightly softened, about 4-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add 1/2 cup beef stock and deglaze the pan. Cook 5-6 minutes more then stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and cook on low for about 15 minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook and the flavors to combine.

When ready to eat, place a serving of noodles in the bottom of a pasta bowl or large plate. Top with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, crisp bacon crumbles, and scallions.





Enjoy!




(adapted from Taste and Tell)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Publix Menu Match-ups 7/7

I haven't been to Publix in almost TWO WEEKS! Crazy, I know. I need to get a trip together and get a few things this week. I guess its good when you have a little bit left over from your grocery weekly budget! Most of the budget last week was spent on formula, so I've been working from my stockpile. I need to use some of this food before it expires! Here's the deals from the ad that started on Wednesday.




Be sure to check out the full match-ups on IHeartPublix!

Athenos Crumbled Feta Cheese B1G1 YUM!
Recipes: Feta Cheese

Ranier Cherries B1G1
Recipes: Sweet Cherry Pie on Annie's Eats...looks incredible!

Barilla Pasta Sauce B1G1
Recipes: Pasta Sauce

Barilla Multigrain Pasta B1G1 (I want to try this kind)
Recipes: Pasta

Pillsbury Moist Supreme Cake Mix B1G1
Recipes: Cake Mix

Musselman's Apple Sauce B1G1
Recipes: Applesauce

Hunt's Tomatoes B1G1
Recipes: Tomatoes

Bumble Bee 4-pk Canned Tuna B1G1
Recipes: Tuna Melts (Yum!)

Thomas' Bagels B1G1
Recipes: Bagels

Yoplait YoPlus B1G1 (the vanilla is awesome)
Recipes: Yogurt (use all of the fresh berries on sale for the Parfaits!)

Simply Potatoes B1G1
Recipes: Hash Browns
Recipes: Potatoes

Cascadian Farms Frozen Vegetables 2/$4 (Frozen Edamame)
Recipes: Chicken Edamame Rice Bowls

Boneless Pork Loin Chops $3.99 lb.
Recipes: Crispy Apricot Pork Chops

Publix Smoked Bacon 2/$7
Recipes: Bacon

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts $3.99 lb.
Recipes: Chicken

Lean Ground Beef $3.69 lb.
Recipes: Beef

Baby Portabella Mushrooms $1.69
Recipes: Mushrooms

Asparagus $2.49 lb.
Recipes: Asparagus

Baking Potatoes 5 lb. bag $2.99
Recipes: Potatoes

Georgia Peaches $.79
Recipes: Nectarine Puffs (I think these would be great with peaches!)
**If anybody has a peach milkshake recipe that comes close to Chick-fil-a I would LOVE to have it! I tried making one at home and it was not good. I would rather have saved my ice cream and eat the peaches plain :)


I will have my Menu posted shortly. I am going to use some of the things on the sale ad for Winn Dixie also. They had a pretty good week on some basics I need!

Winn Dixie Menu Match-ups 7/7

Is it too late for these match-ups? I hope not! I am really excited about the Grand Reopening at our Fairhope location! They have 8-oz. blocks of Kraft cheese for $.99! Totally stocking up. There are lots of B1G1 deals this week. And I see several good basics on sale. I am going for eggs, cheese, and produce!



For ad match-ups be sure to check out:

Coupons Make Cents

Southern Savers

Eastern Shore Mom



Split Chicken Breasts B1G1
Winn Dixie Frozen Breasts or Tenderloins B1G1
Recipes: Chicken

Assorted and Center Cut Pork Chops B1G1
Recipes: Crispy Apricot Pork Chops

Armour Meatballs B1G1
Recipes: Meatballs

Bakery Kaiser or Hoagie Rolls B1G1
Recipes: Sandwiches

Kellogg's Pop Tarts B1G1
Recipes: Pop Tart Cookies

Nilla Wafers B1G1
Recipes: Nilla Wafers

Ronco Pasta B1G1
Recipes: Pasta

Starkist Chunk Light Tuna B1G1
Recipes: Tuna Melts (good! and you could use the hoagie rolls on sale!)

Del Monte Tomatoes B1G1
Recipes: Tomatoes

Mott's Applesauce B1G1
Recipes: Applesauce

Cauliflower $1.50
Recipes: Cauliflower

Broccoli $1.50
Recipes: Broccoli (I loved all of these!)

WD Russet Potatoes 10-lb. bag $3.99
Recipes: Potatoes

Hickory Sweet Bacon $2.50
Recipes: Bacon

Large Eggs $.99!!
Recipes: Eggs

Eggo Waffles $1.66
Recipes: Monte Cristo Waffle'wiches

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $1.66
Recipes: Croissants

Wishbone Dressing $1.66
Recipes: Dressing

And here are some local prices for some awesome deals going on for the Grand Reopening in Fairhope, AL! Thanks EasternShoreMom!

Asparagus $1.49 lb.
Recipes: Asparagus

Strawberries 2 lb. package $2.99
Recipes: Strawberries

Kraft Chunk Cheese 8-oz. block $.99!!!!! (limit 4)
Recipes: Cheese


Maybe I'll see some of you around Winn Dixie getting my cheese :) I'll be in a couple of times!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Strawberry Cake Bites

I wasn't planning on making these tonight, but I wanted something sweet. I really liked the Brownie Cookies I made a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to remix it using the strawberry cake mix I had in the pantry. I didn't think the cookies would work, so I decided to try out my new mini-muffin pan. These little cakes were too cute! And not to mention, quite tasty! I could seriously eat about one thousand. You could use whatever frosting you have on hand. If you have a tub of frosting, whip it up in your mixer first. It really fluffs it up and gives it more of a homemade texture. I only had some heavy cream in the fridge, so I whipped it up with some sugar and topped each cake with a dollop of the whipped cream. It was a nice light balance to the heavier cake. A sweet treat for my Tuesday!



1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box strawberry cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or use paper liners in a mini-muffin pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla. Add the cake mix and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Drop tablespoon size dollops into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool. Top with desired frosting or eat plain!





Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Skillet

This is another one of those recipes that sat on my radar for quite some time before I actually decided to give it a try. And I must say, that in the process of combining all of the ingredients on the stove I was really hesitant. In my mind, chips+chicken broth= mushy mess. Boy, was I wrong! This dish is awesome. Its all of the traditional Mexican flavors that I love all combined in one easy skillet meal. I changed up the original recipe to make it more pantry-friendly, and I was really pleased with the results. I know we are all looking for ways to use up some of those Tostitos in our pantry. Pull them out and try this! It is so good, and so different than other Mexican dishes that you've tried. I promise!



2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 onion, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
5 cups Tostitos, then broken into pieces
1 can Rotel, drained
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Preheat the broiler. Trim the chicken breasts of any excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook on both sides until golden-brown, 5-7 minutes total (the chicken will NOT be cooked through at this point). Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the broth and scrape up any brown bits, and bring to a simmer.

Stir in half of the tortilla chips. Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces.

Return the chicken to the skillet (over low heat) with the drained Rotel, 1 cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley. Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened (the mixture will be thick).

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted and browning, 2-3 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro or parsley and serve with refried beans or a salad.




Enjoy!




(adapted from Annie's Eats and Pink Parsley)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Publix Menu Match-ups 6/30

Its time for another week at Publix! There's some pretty good things this week with the Holiday weekend coming up. Michelle has the match-ups done at IHeartPublix. Be sure to check it out! Here's what I've cooked so far that corresponds with this week's ad:

Check out the full match-ups on IHeartPublix!

Arnold Select Sandwich Thins B1G1
Recipes: Black Olive Turkey Burger

Kraft Dressing B1G1
Recipes: Dressing

Heinz Tomato Ketchup B1G1
Recipes: Ketchup

Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce B1G1
Recipes: BBQ Sauce

Mueller's Pasta B1G1
Recipes: Pasta

Gia Russa Pasta Sauce B1G1 (still pricey)
Recipes: Pasta Sauce

Bush's Baked Beans B1G1
Recipes: Easy Baked Beans with Sausage

Thomas' English Muffins B1G1
Recipes: English Muffins

Breakstone's Sour Cream B1G1
Recipes: Sour Cream

Cool Whip B1G1
Recipes: Cool Whip

Philadelphia Cream Cheese 4/$5
Recipes: Cream Cheese

Sara Lee Desserts 50% off
Recipes: Pineapple Dessert Skewers

Publix Canned Tomatoes 5/$3
Recipes: Tomatoes

Pork Loin Back Ribs $4.49 lb.
Recipes: BBQ Rub Ribs

Split Chicken Breasts $1.69 lb. Drumsticks/Thighs $1.19 lb.
Recipes: Chicken

Oscar Mayer Sliced Bacon $3.99
Recipes: Bacon

Ground Chuck $2.99 lb.
Recipes: Beef

Strawberries 2/$5
Recipes: Strawberries


Monday, June 28, 2010

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

This is one of my new favorites! This was so simple and so delicious. I love how everything just cooked in one pot. You could also double this without much effort if you needed to feed a larger crowd. Most of these ingredients are going to be in your pantry or your freezer. Publix had BBQ sauce on sale this week. In fact, some brand is usually on sale most weeks. This is the perfect recipe for summer barbecues. And the best part is that it cooks inside on the stovetop. So you won't have to cancel your plans if we experience afternoon thunderstorms!



3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-1/3 cups BBQ sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
hot pepper sauce
6 buns or rolls, split
shredded cheese (optional)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a heavy pot with the onion, garlic and just enough chicken broth to cover (about 1-1/2 to 2 cups). Add the BBQ sauce, vinegar and a few drops hot sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks or your fingers.

Boil the sauce, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Season with pepper. Add the shredded chicken and heat through. Spoon the mixture onto the rolls and top with cheese.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Rachael Ray)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dining Through Disney: Day Three

We actually had a little time to get hungry today because we didn't eat until lunch! Because we were at the Magic Kingdom until 3:00 AM the night before we slept in. We headed over to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon. The crowds weren't bad at all! I was really expecting crazy crowds for Memorial Day, but we got lucky. We actually walked right on to Tower of Terror at 2:00 in the afternoon!



Day Three Lunch: Mama Melrose's at Disney's Hollywood Studios

I knew that all of our meals were going to be great, but this one was better than I expected. I guess when I was doing my planning I was expecting just an Italian pizza joint. This place was WAY more. It was fabulous. Elizabeth and I both ordered the same thing for the one and only time during the trip. Since we were on the dining plan, we would always try to order the most expensive thing on the menu to get the most for our money. I noticed at most of the restaurants there was a good difference in some of the prices. Like at Mama Melrose's for example. You could order a simple pizza for about $12 or you could order the tuna steak like we did for about $23. If I was just paying out of my wallet, I would have gone for the $11 entree. But not today. We went all out.



We started out with 2 appetizers. I ordered the Antipasta platter for two. They still let it count as one appetizer. I love meats and cheeses and this plate was such a great sampler of all of the Italian snacks. I really enjoyed the marinated mushrooms. The Parmesan cheese was great. I saved some of it for my tuna entree. Yum Yum Yum!



Elizabeth ordered the Tomato Mozzarella Stacks with a Balsamic Glaze. I'm not a huge fan of raw tomatoes, but the mozzarella was fresh and fabulous. She dipped over onto my plate a few times too :)



For our main entree we both ordered the wood grilled tuna steak. It was served over a bed of Creamy Tomato Risotto, warm vine-ripened diced red and yellow tomatoes, and Olive-Caper Butter. It was insanely good. Probably one of my favorites the entire trip. Seafood is not something I usually enjoy (Crazy, I know!) but I love a good tuna steak. And this was one of the best! I sincerely recommend eating here if you go to Disney World.



I was craving Tiramisu, so I was excited when I saw it on the menu. But, it wasn't the Tiramisu I was expecting. It was sort of a Tiramisu ice cream of sorts. Honestly, not something I enjoyed. I should have ordered the Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake! That was something I would have liked!


Day Three Dinner: Citrico's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort



After playing at Hollywood Studios for a few hours we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner. This was going to be our nice dinner! We made reservations at Citrico's at the Grand Floridian Resort. This one took 2 of our meal tickets and boy was it worth it! First of all, the Grand Floridian is absolutely stunning. I stayed here with my family one of our last trips to Disney as a family when I was younger. I loved being able to send my Mom pictures with my phone to bring back some of those old memories.



The dinner was sensational. We both started out with appetizers. Elizabeth ordered the Sauteed Shrimp. They were sauteed with lemon, white wine, tomatoes and feta cheese. I don't normally like shrimp, but these were fabulous! When I asked our waitress for a copy of the menu, she brought me back some recipes. One of the recipes was for these shrimp! I will make these one day. Although, not sure when. I'm not sure when we'll ever be able to cook with fresh shrimp from our waters.



I ordered the Arancini. Crispy Risotto with Crimini Mushrooms, Asiago Cheese, and White Truffle Aioli. They were so good. I've seen recipes for this sort of thing, but never actually made them. I've never even made Risotto, so maybe I should start there first!



I knew before we even left for our trip that I was going to get the Filet when we got to Citrico's. I was saving my steak dinner for this night. It was all I expected it to be. It was called the Filet Sicilian- Oak-grilled Filet with Spanish Onions, Peppadew and Banana Peppers, Carrot-Potato Purree, and Roasted Vegetables and Veal Glace de Viande. Oh. My. Gosh. It was THE MOST tender steak I have ever put in my mouth. It cut like butta :) So delicious! The carrot-potato puree was really good. That is definitely something that I could recreate at home. I did something similar with broccoli, so I'll have to try that soon.



Elizabeth wanted to dive in and order the most expensive thing on the menu. She got brave and ordered the Braised Veal Shank with Carrot-Potato Puree, Roasted Vegetables and Toasted Citrus Gremolata. Holy Moly. That was a piece of meat! We got so tickled with that big bone sticking out. They even brought out one of those tiny little forks, which we were assuming you were supposed to use to eat the marrow. Who knows. We didn't try it! But all we could sing was, "She don't eat meat, but she sure likes the bone!" Good laughs :)



And, as always, dessert was awesome. I truly think that was my favorite part about the trip. All of the desserts! Since I had Tiramisu on the brain, I had to order it when I saw it on the dessert menu. Yum Yum Yum! I almost licked my plate :)



Elizabeth ordered the Warm Chocolate Banana Tart with a Godiva Chocolate Crown. It was a magnificent looking dessert! It was the perfect ending to such an amazing dinner! The service was great. We just loved our waitress. In addition to the menu and recipes she brought us, she also brought us Mickey straws for the kids, fresh biscotti, and an entire loaf of the fresh black olive bread. Oh yeah...I almost forgot. The bread that we had for a starter was a fresh artisanal black olive bread. Scrumptous smeared with butter. Oh, la la!



When we left Citrico's, we headed over the Animal Kingdom for Magic Hours. We only had about 3 hours, so we really tried to make the most of it. It started to rain about an hour before the park closed. Everybody left because some of the rides shut down due to lightning. We took advantage of that and waited around for them to open Expedition Everest back up. We got to ride it twice in a row with NO wait! It was the most fun! Definiltely a great experience! The night got closed up with a wet ride down Cali River Rapids. That was my first and last time to ride that ride. I'm just glad that we were already wet from the rain and went straight to our car. We got soaked!





Day Four: Lunch in Epcot before coming home

Lunch: Le Chefs de France in Epcot's France



We had one meal voucher left so we wanted to take advantage of it before heading home that last day. We decided to get up early and spend half of a day in the parks. We started at Magic Kingdom for Magic Hours and caught some of the rides that we missed a couple of nights before. Then we hopped over to Epcot to do some shopping and eat in France. It was incredibly hot that day, so it was so nice to step inside the restaurant and cool off in our beautiful window seats!



Elizabeth, as always, was ready to live on the edge. The most expensive thing this time for the appetizer was Cassolette d'escargots de Bourgogne au Beurre Persille. You guessed it. Snails. Of course I had to try it. Yuck. It was such a texture thing. All I could think about was the fact that I was eating snails, and had a hard time getting it down. It took all I could to swallow the little sucker!



I will never eat escargot again. The salad and cheese on my plate were much better!



I got an imported cheese plate and enjoyed it much better! I wrote down all of the names of the cheeses, but between here and there I've misplaced it. Go figure!




Everything on the menu was something completely different than anything I've ever had. This restaurant was one of my least favorite. Not because of the quality of the food, just because its flavors and combinations that I'm not used to. I would have rather gone back to Mama Melrose's :) I ordered the Steak hache Angus, champignons et Bearnaise, Salade ou frites. Basically it was a hamburger with a tomato-mushroom relish and skinny fries. It was different, but pretty good. Of course they had
Croque Monsieurs that I would have loved, but those were too cheap! I was going to get the biggest bang for my buck with the meal plan!



Elizabeth ordered the Salmon Filet with Ratatouille. Her oldest son loves salmon, so it was sort of for him :) He would have loved that place. Creme Brulee is also his favorite and they had that there too!


And for dessert,



Elizabeth's Apple Cinnamon Crpes with Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream



And I got a fabulous chocolate cake!


**I'm too tired to dig out the menu to get the description of what we ordered. Until I do...there's the pictures :)



And we also got a visit from Remy himself from Ratatouille! Such an incredible trip. But, boy, was I ready to get home to my babies!! I couldn't get on the road fast enough. And we won't mention that little detour that Elizabeth and the GPS had us take!

Don't forget to check out Day One and Day Two!

Pineapple Orange Cake

I have GOT to quit making all of these sweets for my house! I don't know how to say "NO", and so when I make this mess I eat too much of it! I loved this cake. I figured it would be tasty just because of the mixture of oranges and pineapple. But this cake turned out wonderful! I loved how moist it is, and I love the addition of the coconut I added to the original recipe. I could have just eaten the whipped topping with a spoon! My Mother-in-law is having her birthday Wednesday, so maybe I should have saved this cake until then. Oh well...I'll just have to make another one :) This cake is a lovely salute to summer.



1 box yellow cake mix
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, undrained
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce (I only had the chunky kind)
1/2 cup coconut flakes (optional)
2 8-oz. cans crushed pineapple, undrained
1 3.4-oz. package instant vanilla pudding
1 carton Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-inch round baking pans (or 1 9 X 13-inch pan). In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, oranges (undrained), eggs, coconut and applesauce until well blended. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the pineapple (undrained) and instant pudding mix. Fold in the Cool Whip. Invert 1 layer onto a cake plate. Top with half of the topping. Invert second later on top. Spread the remaining topping over the second layer. Garnish with orange slices. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Because this frosting is made with Cool Whip, it needs to be stored in the fridge.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Let's Dish)

Sauteed Zucchini

I love zucchini and finding new ways to cook it. I'm the only one in my house that eats it, so it doesn't get cooked often unless its cooked into something. I like slicing them lengthwise down the center and roasting them. Even cooking thin slices in some olive oil with salt and pepper is good. Annie made this sound so wonderful on her blog, Annie's Eats, that I had to give it a try. Zucchini has been on sale this past two weeks at Publix so I stocked up. This was so good! My little Emme really liked it too. I thought that shredding it with a box grater would take forever, but it didn't. I loved the flavor this had. If Clay had not been working, I would have made him try it. I think he would have liked it! I will definitely make this again. Annie's Eats never disappoints!



5 medium zucchini (about 2.5 lbs), ends trimmed
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
black pepper

Shred the zucchini with a large box grater. Toss the zucchini with the salt in a colander set over a medium bowl; let drain 5-10 minutes. Wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel, in batches if necessary, and wring out the excess moisture.

Add the zucchini to a medium bowl with the minced onion and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Toss well to coat.

Heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the zucchini mixture to the pan and distribute in an even layer. Cook without stirring until the bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes. Stir well, breaking up clumps, and cook once more until the "new" bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes more (I tossed mine one more time). Off the heat stir in the lemon juice and season with black pepper. Serve immediately.



Enjoy!



(adapted from Annie's Eats)

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I have been eyeballing this recipe for quite some time. I just love muffins. And ones that taste like Snickerdoodle cookies? Well, that makes for a winner in my book! I think this "muffin" could easily pass for a cupcake. In fact, the batter is made like several other cake batters I've done with the alternating of dry and wet ingredients in the end. Smear a whipped cream cheese frosting on the top and you've got the cupcakes for your next Birthday Party! Seriously, they're that good. And definitely indulgent for breakfast. We only have a few left, so that should tell you how good they are :)



2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2-1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, to the sugar/butter mixture; starting and ending with the flour scraping the bowl if necessary. Using a large scoop or spoon, scoop out muffin batter and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is completely covered. Place in prepared muffin pan. Continue scooping dough and rolling in cinnamon sugar mixture until all batter is used (you should get about 2 dozen). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Let's Dish)

Mexican Lasagna

This recipe brings back old memories for me. The first time I had this lasagna was when I was 18 years old working as a teller at Regions Bank in college. The head teller at the branch on Dauphin Island Parkway, Mary Jo, would make this for us on special occasions. We had a little oven in the break room that got lots of action! The Curry Chicken was one of the dishes she would make us too! I love how simple this is, and it is great for company. Its a great way to stretch a buck on the ground beef. It only takes 1 pound of ground meat, but could easily feed 6 people. We had my sister-in-law and her girls over last Tuesday for dinner and she makes a great lasagna. So, I thought I'd put a new spin on lasagna and make this for her! She loved it. We served it with some leftover Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf and were full and happy :) The Apple Dumplings I had planned for dessert got pushed to later in the week because we were just too full! Oh, and don't store your tortillas in the pantry next to Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. We got little bits of cinnamon taste throughout the lasagna because the tortillas smelled like cinnamon!



**Guys- don't laugh. I remembered the lasagna being creamier than it turned out. No big deal, it was still good. Well, when I was retyping the recipe, I realized I left out the Cream of Chicken soup!! I am going to make it again and do it right. It was still good, but would have been just like I remembered had I put the soup in. Another DUH moment!!


1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, mined
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can Rotel
1 can Ranch Style Beans
1 can Cream of Chicken soup :)
12 (6-inch) fajita size tortillas
3 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain off excess fat. Add onion and garlic and cook 2-4 minutes until the onion softens. Add taco seasoning, Rotel, Ranch Style beans, and cream of chicken soup.

Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Tear tortillas into large chunks and set aside. Spoon about 1/2 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of prepared baking dish. Line the dish with 1/2 of the tortillas, 1/2 of the meat sauce and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat the layers ending with the shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Mary Jo Brierly)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Emilis Albin! The lucky winner of Maple Syrup World's Maple Syrup Basket!




Thanks to all of you who entered! For my FIRST Giveaway I think I had a great response! I enjoyed reading each and every one of the comments. I am in the planning stage of my next giveaway. Stay tuned, because as soon as I reach 1000 fans on Facebook, I'm doing another one. Next time its going to be Pampered Chef :)


Congratulations Emilis!

And thank you Maple Syrup World for sponsoring my FIRST giveaway!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fairhope Foodie Menu 6/22

I really enjoyed cooking several older recipes from my archives this past week! We made the BBQ Chicken Pizza, Mushroom Garlic Pizza and Hawaiian Chicken Alfredo Pizza for Father's Day at my parents house. My Mom also threw together one with regular pizza sauce, Jimmy Dean Sausage and diced green bell peppers and my Dad said that was his favorite! I am going to revisit a few old ones again this week too.

Here's what I have planned...loosely :)


Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce (tonight)

Mexican Lasagna- Tuesday 6/22

Chicken Cranberry Couscous- Wednesday 6/23

Falafel Flat Breads- Thursday 6/24

Bacon Sloppy Joes- Friday 6/25

Snickerdoodle Muffins- Saturday 6/26
Sauteed Zucchini- Saturday 6/26

Pineapple Orange Cake- Sunday 6/27

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches- Monday 6/28


All of the orange linked recipes are ones that I've already posted. I just wanted to revisit them. The recipes in bold are the ones I'm planning to make and post this week. Stay tuned!

And if you're shopping Publix, don't forget your $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon! (try zip 95677, radius 50 miles)


Here is the ingredient break-down of the recipes I'm going to post this week:

**Coming tomorow!




And don't forget about my GIVEAWAY with Maple Syrup World! Be sure to leave your comments to get entered!

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

I stocked up on chicken breasts last week at Bruno's. The boneless, skinless breasts were on sale for $1.99 lb. When you see them at that price, I suggest cleaning your freezer out and making room for some chicken! I've tried doing the whole chicken when I made the Curry Chicken. Not my style. I will do boneless, skinless chicken breasts for just about any chicken recipe. Next time I make the Curry Chicken, I am using breasts. Its just so much easier for me. I liked this recipe because it took a simple sauteed chicken breast like I always cook, and topped it with a delicious Dijon Cream Sauce. I bought the Dijon the other day when I made the Meatloaf Burgers . This was so quick and easy, and elegant enough for company. I served it with Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf and green beans. So yummy!



4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and pound slightly to tenderize and even out the meat. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the chicken stock to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits. Whisk in the cream and mustard. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley. Pour over chicken breasts and serve.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Let's Dish)

Publix Menu Match-ups 6/23

I am so glad that I started doing this feature! This week I was totally drawing a blank on what to cook. The recipes I picked for my Menu aren't necessarily based on the sales ad this week. I pulled more from my stockpile and my stomach :) To get the full Publix coupon match-ups be sure to check out Michelle at IHeartPublix!

Here's my recipe archives for this week's sales ad:

Ragu Pasta Sauce B1G1
Recipes: Pasta Sauce

Betty Crocker Cake Mix B1G1
Recipes: Cake Mix

Musselman's Apple Sauce 6-pk B1G1
Recipes: Apple Sauce

Kraft BBQ Sauce B1G1
Recipes: BBQ Sauce

Yoplait Trix Yogurt B1G1
Recipes: Yogurt

Chicago Hard Rolls $1.99
Recipes: Fish Stick Po-boys

Publix Sour Cream 16-oz $1.09
Recipes: Sour Cream

Kraft Chunk Cheese 16-oz $3.99
Recipes: Cheese

Flatout Bread 2/$5
Recipes: Chicken Parmesan Quesa-nini

Blue Bell Ice Cream $3.99
Recipes: Ice Cream

Perdue Chicken Breasts $2.99 lb
Recipes: Chicken

Blueberries $1.50
Recipes: Blueberries

Asparagus $2.99
Recipes: Asparagus

Backyard Vegetables $.99 lb.
Recipes: Zucchini


The ad is not great for me this week. In fact, I see several repeats (especially in the produce)! Hopefully this guides you. Next up...the Menu :)

Giveaway Reminder- Maple Syrup World!

Don't forget about my first giveaway! The giveaway will end Wednesday night at 9:00 pm. I will randomly pick a winner from the comments underneath the original post.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Once again, I have to say how much I enjoy Annie's Eats. That girl turns out some rockin' recipes. I really love the flavors of simple Mexican dishes. I'm a sucker for a packet of taco seasoning. Bring on the sodium! And not just any taco seasoning (I've tried them all). The best one, hands down, is the Old El Paso. I hope you've been printing the recent coupons on Coupons.com! I changed Annie's recipe up a bit and added some taco seasoning to the chicken. The random ingredient in this one is the Ranch dressing. Clay is not a fan of Ranch, so I didn't tell him it was in it. He didn't know the difference and loved it :) This is not your traditional enchiladas. This is quick, easy, creamy, cheesy, and delicious. The best part is its made from stockpile staples! Go ahead and put this one on the Menu this week. You know you want to!



4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup Ranch dressing
flour tortillas (I used the fajita size, about 12)
salsa
4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and saute the chicken until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add in taco seasoning and a few tablespoons of water. Cook chicken until all of the water is absorbed. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

Meanwhile, mix up the sauce. In a large bowl, combine half of the sour cream with half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined. Add the chicken to the large bowl and mix until the chicken is well coated.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 teaspoon of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread it around the tortilla like you would sauce on a pizza. Line the center of the tortilla with a row of the chicken mixture. Top the chicken with salsa and shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down on the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the pan is full.

Spread some of the leftover sauce over the tops of the enchiladas and top with more cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until tortillas have reached desired crispness. Serve with Mexican rice and veggies if you like that kind of stuff.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Annie's Eats)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brownie Cookies

I love brownies. I love the box kind more than anything! If I make some of those on a Friday evening for a treat, I will eat the entire thing within 24 hours. I'm not kidding. I walk by and take a little bite here, take another bite there. And before I know it, I've eaten the entire pan. So, naturally these cookies looked awesome to me when I saw the recipe! It used nothing but the finest of ingredients: boxed cake mix, cream cheese and butter! What more could you ask for? Such a great snack. I can't wait to go eat another one...



1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box moist chocolate cake mix
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the egg. then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm (you have to roll the batter into balls later).

Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and roll them in confectioners sugar. This is a little messy. I used my small Pampered Chef scoop to make things easier. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes (mine took a little longer...I think my oven needs to be calibrated!). Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.




Enjoy!



(adapted from Honey and Butter)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BUGGIES in ACTION!!

As most of you are hopefully aware of, there is going to be a Donation Drive this Saturday at Scraping Frenzy in Mobile. A lot of the local bloggers are joining forces to collect toiletry items for local non-profit organizations.





When: Saturday, June 19th 9:30-12:30

Where: Scraping Frenzy, Mobile, AL (at Hillcrest and Airport)

Be sure to come out and bring some of those freebies you've been picking up with your coupons! I would love to meet some of you guys! I will be joined by Shannon from The Bargain Buggy, Aubrey from Eastern Shore Mom, Elizabeth from Coupons Make Cents Now, Shasta from Faithfully Frugal and Free, and Holly from It's Fun 2 Save! Bring a bag of goodies and help out this Saturday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Black Olive Turkey Burgers

I found some ground turkey at Bruno's last week on sale B1G1. I came across this recipe last week and though it sounded different and yummy. I was a little skeptical though. I love all of the main flavors, but combined I wasn't so sure. I tweaked the original recipe a bit and added my own little twist and was very happy with the end result! The cumin really gave it a nice smokey flavor. Clay said, "What's in here that tastes like chili?" After I got finished laughing I told him it was cumin. He said he liked it, he just wanted to know what it was :) The cumin could definitely be left out and the burgers would still be tasty. They were moist and so flavorful. I'm glad I stocked up on the ground turkey because I'm going to have to throw this in the rotation again. Maybe for company next time. A healthy burger? Yes, there is such a thing!



Makes 3 burgers:

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup coarsely chopped black olives
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (can be adjusted down to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
olive oil
6 slices turkey bacon, crisped
3 sandwich thins
condiments

Combine the turkey, olives, onion, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl and mix until well incorporated. Shape into 3 burgers.

Heat the grill over low heat. Drizzle the patties with olive oil before placing them on the grill. This was supposed to prevent them from sticking, but mine still stuck pretty bad :) Grill for about 7-8 minutes on the first side. Flip, and grill another 4-5 minutes on the second side, or until cooked through.

Serve on whole grain sandwich thins with mayo, mustard, 2 slices of turkey bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Yummy-yum-yum!




Enjoy!



(adapted from Ellie Krieger)


Fairhope Foodie Menu 6/16

Yes, my friends, another week has come and gone. I remember when I was younger thinking that time went by so slow. "Will I ever turn 16??", "Come on 21!!". Those days have now come and gone and I find myself wondering where I was during all of it!

I really wanted to do a week of all desserts. I kept thinking of cookies, cakes and such that I wanted to make. I do not think my thighs would be grateful for any of that. So I settled just for a few dessert recipes :) Some of the recipes this week are repeats. I wanted to go back and revisit some of them. I'm trying to use up some of my stockpile!

Here's to another great week! Looks like I'm doing a lot of cooking :)

Black Olive Turkey Burgers- Wed 6/16

One Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs- Thurs 6/17
Peach Milkshake- Thurs 6/17

Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas- Fri 6/18
Red Rice- Fri 6/18
Brownie Cookies- Fri 6/18

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce- Sat 6/19
Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf- Sat 6/19

Scrambled Eggs and Sausage in Potato Nests- Sun 6/20
Pinkalicious Strawberry Cupcakes- Sun 6/20
BBQ Chicken Pizza- Sun 6/20
Mushroom Garlic Pizza- Sun 6/20

Bacon Sloppy Joes- Mon 6/21


All of the orange linked recipes are ones that I've already posted. I just kind of wanted them :) The recipes in bold are the ones I'm planning to make and post this week. Stay tuned!

And if you're shopping Publix, don't forget your $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon! (try zip 95677, radius 50 miles)


Here is the ingredient break-down of the recipes I'm going to post this week:

Peach Milkshake (Thursday)
fresh peaches
vanilla ice cream


Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas (Friday)
chicken breasts
sour cream
ranch dressing
flour tortillas
salsa
shredded cheese

Red Rice (Friday)
onion
garlic
tomato paste
long-grain white rice
chicken broth

Brownie Cookies (Friday)
cream cheese
butter
egg
vanilla extract
chocolate cake mix
powdered sugar


Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce (Saturday)
chicken breasts
chicken broth
heavy cream
dijon mustard
tarragon (may or may not use)



I hope all of you have a wonderful Father's Day! I am going to make the Scrambled Eggs and Sausage in Potato Nest for the Daddy at our house :) Here are some other "manly breakfasts" that I think the Daddy's in your life might enjoy Sunday morning:

Scrambled Eggs and Sausage in Potato Nests

Monte Cristo

Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

French Toast Mini Loaves

Cream Cheese Pancakes

English Muffin Breakfast Pizza



And don't forget about my GIVEAWAY with Maple Syrup World! Be sure to leave your comments to get entered!