Monday, March 31, 2014

Love Chicken...Tenders!

Tim's grandson Paxton, LOVES chicken!!  Usually when he visits on a weeknight, we have some form of noodles, also a favorite of his.  When he stayed with us a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to make something besides noodles.  After reading a few recipes for Chicken Fingers, I came up with my own version.  Alongside these Mac & Cheese Cupcakes, a perfect kids meal!

Chicken Tenders
1/3 cup pancake batter
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg
1 lb chicken tenders
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix together pancake mix, breadcrumbs, cheese,  garlic salt and oregano leaves. Pour on large plate.

In shallow dish, beat egg slightly. Dip the chicken tenders in egg and then dredge in bread crumb mixture.

Place chicken tenders on the cookie sheet.  Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pacifier Cupcakes

One of my coworkers is about to become a grandmother for the first time.  We celebrated the event with a mini grandmother shower.  Being the baker of the group, I volunteered to make treats.  I wanted to make something fun and cute to celebrate the occasion ... something that didn't require a lot of work.

I did some searching on Pinterest and found these cute pacifier cupcakes.  They are so easy to make.
All you need are wintergreen lifesavers and jelly belly's.  The instructions I found used Royal Icing to glue them together.  I decided to use Wilton Candy melts, much quicker and easier.  I saw some recipes that used the color jelly belly of the baby and others, like mine, that used the color of the pacifier. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins - SRC

 It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Secret Recipe Club, you can read all about it here!!!  I enjoy reveal day but my favorite part of SRC is getting to know my assigned blogger for the month and choosing a recipe!!!  This month, I was assigned Mostly Food & Crafts.  Danielle is a SAHM with two kids.  She enjoys cooking, crafting and says her kids are good eaters, yeah!  If you haven't visited her blog, stop by, she has lots of terrific recipes and fun crafting projects.  

After several nights of browsing, I settled on Macaroni and Cheese Muffins.  Paxton, Tim's grandson, loves anything with noodles so I knew these would be hit with him.  With the exception of the crackers, I followed the recipe as written.   I think I didn't bake mine long enough or it was a little too cheesy, I had trouble getting mine to stay in cupcake form.  regardless, this makes a delicious, creamy mac n cheese.  I popped my leftovers into the freezer, they'll be perfect for lunches.  

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of Mostly Food and Crafts
Round butter-flavored crackers
1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup cooking creme or milk (I used milk)
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese  (keep 1/4 cup out to sprinkle on top)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or use muffin wrappers. Place a cracker in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients until well-blended.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups and sprinkle with extra cheese.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes, remove from tin with knife if you didn't use the muffin papers.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Biscoff Krispie Mallow Bars

I love trying new dessert recipes, there's so many to choose from.    Last week, Tim's office had a treat day.  With over 200 recipes pinned to my "Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth" board, which one to choose?  Since I needed to bake on a weeknight, I was in search of something easy.

Have you seen all of the different Rice Krispie treats recipes?  Rice Krispie treats are easy  to make, so I settled on this recipe.   With the addition of a crust, these are a little different than traditional Rice Krispie treats.  I substituted semi sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips.  Tim said the crew at work gave them rave reviews. They were a little too sweet for my tastes and I love sweet desserts.

Biscoff Krispie Mallow Bars
Recipe courtesy of Julie's Eats and Treats

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. melted butter (divided)
  • 3 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips (I used semi sweet chips)
  • 1 c. Biscoff
  • 1/2 c. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 c. Rice Krispies


  1. Mix the cake mix, egg and 1/4 c. butter. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
  2. Put the marshmallows on top of the hot crust. Return to oven for 3 minutes or until puffed up.
  3. Melt the white chocolate chips, Biscoff, corn syrup and 1/2 c. butter. Add vanilla and mix. Pour over Rice Krispies in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Pour over marshmallows. Refrigerate, but make sure to cut before they get to hard!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Throw Away the Bread Machine Instructions - Soft White Bread

Do you own a bread machine?  I do but I can't remember the last time I used it.  When I brought it in from the garage shelf today, the dust was pretty thick.  Which makes me wonder, have I used it at all since we moved into this house in October of 2011?  In fact, I came close to sending it to the Goodwill in my last round of clearing out things I haven't used.  Ask my husband, if we haven't used something in quite sometime, it's gone!!!  He joked when we were moving last time, if he didn't use something within a week, I'd give it away. 

After reading Lynn from Happier Than A Pig in Mud's post about this bread, I was so glad I didn't give my bread machine away.  I've never had great luck with making bread from scratch in the machine.  The best breads I've turned out have been from those bread machine mixes.  Until now that is!!! If you own a bread machine, give this one a try.  You won't be sorry, it makes a delicious loaf of bread.  Can't wait to make a sandwich with it this week!!!

A few notes on this recipe:

  • The recipe calls for bread flour,  I used all purpose and it worked fine. 
  • You can either use butter or oil in the recipe.  Tim just gave me some flavored olive oils for my birthday.  I used 2 T. of rosemary olive oil.  It added a nice subtle rosemary flavor to the bread.
  • I've never let my yeast bloom when making bread in the bread machine.  It is reported to be the secret for a nice soft loaf of bread.

 Throw Away the Bread Machine Instructions-Soft White Bread
From courtesy of Happier Than A Pig in Mud

1 C warm water (110 degrees F)
2 Tblsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast (one package)
2 Tblsp melted butter
2 Tblsp oil (can use shortening or 4 Tblsp butter)
3 C white bread flour
 1 tsp salt

  1. Place water in the bread pan. Tip: Lynn says "I like  to warm up the pan first by running some hot water into it then pouring it out."
  2. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast over the water, allow to bloom for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, oil, flour and salt.
  4. Select the basic or white bread 1.5lb loaf and press start. Or select the dough cycle and punch down the dough, form and place in a bread pan for the second rise.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.