Sunday, May 26, 2013

A different twist on French Toast...

I love French Toast. I love that it tastes like home. I love syrup. And so does my family.

So let me share a little secret. I don't use regular bread. Most people use texas toast, regular loaf bread, day old deli bread, etc...Not me! I love using the Archer Farms "gourmet" breads. They have a few different selections in the bakery section, so there are options! My favorite is the Apple Fritter. There are little apple chunks in the bread and the top has granulated sugar. I never said this bread was healthy. Just delicious. Archer Farms also makes Cinnamon Raisin, Cinnamon, and Blueberry Streusel.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to use this bread for french toast, but if I can share this little bit of heaven with someone new, then I've done my job.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps - Recipe

I am not a gourmet chef. I have unrealistic visions of myself sautéing  whisking, stirring, flipping, and poaching delicious dishes. But in all honesty, I'm a simple cook who cooks for her very picky family. So, here is one of the dishes that our whole family enjoys. It's tasty, somewhat healthy, fast and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

You Need:
- 2 to 3 uncooked chicken breasts
- Bacon (I use low sodium bacon)
- Tomatoes
- Lettuce
- Shredded Cheese
- Ranch Dressing
- Avocado (optional)

- Bake your chicken breasts for 30-35 min at 350 degrees. The chicken is done when the juices run clear
- Fry your bacon to your preference of doneness (is that a word?)
- Once the chicken is done baking and the bacon is done frying, warm your tortillas by microwaving them in between two damp paper towels. I do 3 tortillas for 45 seconds.
- Assemble! (How easy was that?)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Korean Tacos - Recipe

We have a new favorite dinner in our household, one that my husband loves, and for that I am grateful! I get a hankering for Asian style food all the time. Could by my Korean genes making themselves apparent, but who can say. And being Korean, I LOVE Korean food. Go figure. Another food I love, even though I'm not Hispanic, is tacos. So, I thought to myself, why not combine my two favorite things? And this is what was born.

Beef/Chicken Bulgogi Korean Tacos

- 1 lb ground beef or chicken
- 6 tbsp soy sauce (I use Kikkoman, all other brands taste like gross brown salt water)
- 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
- 2 tbsp sugar (I dissolve it a SMALL amount of boiling water - some people use pear juice instead - but you need some sort of sweetness)
- 2 cloves minced garlic (I cheat and use the preminced in a jar)
- Pepper to taste
- Soft Burrito tortillas
- 2 cups White Rice
- Kimchi
- Sriracha (opt)
- Lettuce

Cooking Time!
- In your rice maker, start cooking your rice. 2 cups of white rice and 2 1/2 cups water.

(I LOVE this rice maker)

- In a medium skillet, start to brown the ground beef or ground chicken. 
- While the meat is cooking, combine the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, sugar, garlic and pepper. Stir well. 

- Once the meat is full cooked and drained, return to skillet. Pour the marinade over the meat and simmer on low until the rice is done cooking. Give the meat a stir every once in a while to make sure the marinade soaks in. 

- When the rice is done cooking, warm your tortillas. I place 3 between two wet paper towels and microwave for 1 minute. 
- You can assemble your taco any way you like. I put white rice on the bottom, then add the meat, then top it with Kimchi. Eric likes to add the Sriracha (hot chili sauce) and lettuce. Brooke likes it in a bowl, all cut up and easy to scoop!

This is an easy way to appease my Asian food cravings while keeping it somewhat healthy and guilt free. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chicken Taquitos Recipe

I subscribe to to get their daily email. They send out a recipe or two per day and I always open their message to see what the goody of the day is. Most of the recipes they send are no-gos because I have a SUPER picky husband. But once in a while I get a winner. And this was one of them. I tweaked their recipe a bit because I wasn't a fan of the author's ingredient choices. But all in all, it made a good starting point and they turned out delish!

(Inspired by)

* 2-3 uncooked chicken breasts (original recipe called for canned chicken, but I prefer fresh chicken)
* 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
* 12 corn tortillas
* 1 pack taco seasoning packet
* EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) - optional
* sour cream - optional
* guacamole - optional

- In your crockpot, place your uncooked chicken breasts in the bottom. Cover the chicken with water and mix the taco seasoning in (I use low sodium taco seasoning)
- Slow cook the chicken breasts in your crock pot for 4 hours on low (may take less time). 
- When the chicken is done cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a baking sheet
- Preheat a small skillet on your oven over medium heat
- Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred/chop the chicken 

- Put all of the shredded/chopped chicken in a large bowl and mix in the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese. You could use any shredded cheese you want: pepperjack, monterey cheddar, etc would be good as well. 

- In your preheated skillet, warm the tortillas one at a time over medium heat until flexible, about 10 seconds per side. I would warm a tortilla, and while I was filling that tortilla with filling, I would preheat the next tortilla. All about being efficient!
- Once your tortilla is warm and flexible, spoon some of the filling in to the middle. I used about two regular spoonfuls. 

- Roll the tortilla and place it seam side down on your greased (or sprayed) baking sheet. I lined mine with tinfoil, just a habit of mine.
- Repeat until all of your filling is gone. 
- Lightly brush the tops of the filled tortillas with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). This will help them become crisp and crunchy when baked!
- Bake for 30 minuted in your preheated oven. 

(Ignore the janky one at the top left - I didn't heat the tortilla long enough)

- Top with sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, etc.
- Enjoy!

(I love guacamole, don't judge)

** You could jazz these up even more by adding diced onion, peppers, or other veges. The original recipe called for mixing some hot sauce in with the chicken and cheese filling, but since we have a 6 year old who isn't too fond of "snappy" (spicy) foods, us adults just drizzled some on top when they were done baking **

I have to say, THESE WERE DELICIOUS. These will become a regular staple on our dinner menu. They were super easy to make (especially with slow cooking the chicken all day). Both my husband and daughter enjoyed them as well. You could also make these as an appetizer or substitue the chicken for ground beef! So many options to make it your own :) I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grey Loves Design - Blogger Templates - Etsy

I have this weird obsession with templates. No, really. I think I start new projects, just so I can search for the perfect template. I know this sounds crazy (and maybe it is), but I love browsing other people's talented work. So when I started this blog, I went on the hunt for the perfect template. I have an account on Etsy just for my purchases because I don't like purchasing things through my sellers accounts. I spent a good three to four hours Saturday scouring blogger templates on Etsy. I would heart one here, grimace at others there and so on. But I kept coming back to GreyLovesDesign.

I had purchased some templates from Maree (owner/designer) a week earlier for my handmade business blog and was impressed by her quick turn around time and professionalism. But this time, I was looking for additional items; a matching Facebook cover and avatar for the new Whimsy Boulevard page ("like" me). I emailed a few designers through Etsy and being the impatient person I am, stalked my email waiting for responses. Of course I decided to customize all of this on a weekend, when most people aren't working. But, I received a few emails back and just couldn't justify spending as much as they were asking. Now don't get me wrong, these designers were not overpriced. Especially for what they sell. However, I had my Scrooge McDuck pants on this weekend. But I kept coming back to Maree's shop. She has some super adorable and AFFORDABLE templates I loved. And the best part? She has a promotion in her shop until the end of April: Buy 2 for $25.99. This made my Scrooge very happy. So, being the impulsive person I was, went ahead and purchased that listing even before I found out if she could make a matching Facebook timeline cover and avatar. Not two second after I hit "confirm" did I get an email from Maree telling me she could. I emailed her back and told her that if she set up a custom listing, I would go ahead and purchase it right away.

Much to my surprise this morning, Maree had sent not only my templates, but had included the Facebook timeline covers and matching avatars, for no extra charge! This made my Monday morning absolutely wonderful. So, if you are looking for a cute new blog template, please, PLEASE check out GreyLovesDesign. She can also work with you on a completely custom, one of a kind template at a super reasonable price. And if you need help installing your new template? Maree can do it for you for a small add-on fee.

I have included screen shots and links to some of her other templates I absolutely LOVE.

Harley Nicole: the other design I purchased

Mary: love the soft feminine and floral design

Margo: I have a small chevron obsession

Macie: may need this for next winter. Love the subtle wintery theme!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dinner ... Facebook inspired

I was trolling Facebook the other day, and one of my friends "liked" a post that featured a recipe. I checked and it out and thought it looked tasty. The recipe was posted by the page Country Style, which posts all things country. Go figure. Now, I have to read every recipe VERY closely. Why? My husband has to be about the pickiest eater out there. The list of foods he does eat is 100x shorter than foods he doesn't eat. Most of the time I can omit ingredients not to his liking, but that gets to be a pain and most of the time makes the dish tasteless. So cooking for my dear husband can be quite an ordeal. And to make matters worse? Monkey see, monkey do. That's right, my darling daughter doesn't "like" all of the foods her dad likes. So now, it has turned in to two versus me. It's a loose loose situation. Have I gotten off track? Back to the point, the recipe posted by Country Style all called for ingredients my husband WOULD eat. I got so excited that I promptly shared it and tagged him in the post. So while at the grocery store this morning I picked up all the ingredients to make it for dinner tonight. When dinner came, I pulled up my husband's Facebook profile (he never posts anything to his wall, so finding it on his wall was easier than trying to find it on mine) and got to work. 

(Note, I just spent a good three minutes trolling Country Style's page instead of going straight to my husband's wall to grab it. Duh)

Recipe Link

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts 
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 cup whole milk 
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley 

1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

Crush crackers. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers. Then press the cheesy coated chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in. 

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 

In a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.

Steps. Lots of steps. That was the only thing going through my mind as I was preparing the chicken to bake. So. Many. Steps. I am not a steps kind of person. But after all the chicken was dredged, it looked like this (excuse the awesome cell phone picture): 

Looks pretty tasty! So in to the oven they went. Waiting for them to bake wasn't too bad. I trolled, what else, Facebook and clobbered my husband on Mini Golf. When the final timer went off I returned to the kitchen and started to plate. This is what I learned: I thought I had sprayed the tinfoil with enough nonstick spray to keep the chicken from sticking. Apparently not. My husband was quite entertained as he stood there watching me try and extract the chicken from the pan. So, lesson? Spray that sucker down. Or don't use tinfoil. Either will work I think. Next: The gravy was eh. I was a little skeptical when I saw it was Cream of Chicken undiluted soup, sour cream, and butter. Sounded like an artery clogger in a sauce pan. So I put the "gravy" in a separate bowl, just in case. Truth be told, it wasn't bad, but you don't really need it. 

Along with the chicken I nuked some frozen broccoli (steamables) and had some baked potatoes. (Yes, those are facos - I will never claim to be the healthiest eater - they are truly - an enigma)

All in all, the recipe wasn't too bad. I will deffinately make this in the future, on a day when steps aren't going to annoy me. I will also omit the "gravy". It didn't enhance the chicken exponentially and make me say, "WOW! This gravy really makes the chicken!" But I give it a 7.5 star out of 10 rating. Not my favorite, but my husband and kid liked it, so it's a semi-winner. 

I should also note that baking potatoes is my kryptonite. I never know how long I should bake potatoes or at what temperature. It's always a guessing game and one I'm not very good at. But, most of the time they are edible, after a few minutes in the microwave. 


Welcome to my new blog! I am so glad you joined me! While this is a new blog, I myself am familiar with the blogging world. I do admit, I am have not been consistent in the past, but I am hoping to change that. My vision for this blog is going to be a little bit of everything. You will get to know me personally while also learning and reading about other things that catch my attention. I hope to feature giveaways, share recipes, and be a source of inspiration of some sort. So, with that said, bookmark this page and visit the blog often! Thanks for stopping by!