CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS

CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS adapted from RecipeGirl.com
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies
5-6 ounces chopped Butterfinger candy bars (or candy bar of your choice)*
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

  • Spray an 8×8-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter together over medium heat.
  • Add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rice krispies.
  • Stir in the Butterfingers, reserving 1/4 cup as topping.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepare pan and press it evenly into the pan with clean hands.
  • Let it cool.
  • Cut the Krispie Treats into nine equal pieces and move them to a platter.**
  • Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together in a small saucepan or in a small glass bowl in the microwave or until they are melted and smooth.
  • Spoon the chocolate into a zip baggie, snip the corner and squeeze the chocolate into the corner.
  • Drizzle chocolate onto each Krispie Treat and then sprinkle with some Butterfinger crumbs and then drizzle more chocolate on top.
  • Place the Krispie Treats in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Do NOT leave them in the refrigerator – they will get too hard!
  • Store them in a covered container.

NOTES:

  • *Use a candy bar with a cookie or nut base along with the chocolate. We prefer Heath bars, KIT KATs or Butterfingers.
  • **You can eat them as they are or store them in a covered container. Otherwise continue with the topping directions.

I STILL MISS HER! SWEET WHISKEY SOUR

There are certain days, certain “anniversaries” that I hope will pass without tears and May 29th is one of them. 19 years ago hubby got me the BEST birthday present ever, the golden retriever puppy I had always wanted. We wanted a buddy for our 6 month old black lab, Gunner.

It was difficult to find a female puppy and eventually we found one, but there were a couple catches. She was two hours away and had to be named before we ever even saw her because they had to file the paperwork immediately. Oh and hubby had just had knee surgery, was on crutches and had National Guard Duty the weekend she HAD to be picked up.

We were at the VFW and trying to think of names. I knew her mom’s name was Ruby so we started thinking about drink names that used alcohols that were amber or ruby in color. I started browsing through a Mr. Boston cocktail book and that is when we decided on SWEET WHISKEY SOUR. Since we had never met her we figured the name covered EVERY possible aspect of personality. We sure didn’t need to include the sour part. Whiskey was the sweetest, most perfect dog ever.

Since hubby couldn’t take me to get her, my brother did. We were NOT prepared the amount of cuteness we were going to encounter when we arrived. She was one of 12 puppies and I think 10 of them had some form of alcohol name… Amaretto, Brandy, Cognac … Turned out she was the runt of the litter. Teeny tiny really, fit in the palm of your hand size, wear my scrunchy for a collar size.

For all these years I can only truly think of maybe two times she ever got in trouble. Our plan for her to be a buddy to our black lab, Gunner didn’t work out immediately. She was so tiny that she couldn’t be left alone with Gunny. So, she started commuting to work with me and keeping the customers company at the Auto Repair shop I managed. She became a seasoned traveler and loved to climb onto the package shelf of my Camry so she could see everything along the way. I had a LONG drive (65 miles each way) so she really got to see A LOT of things that she thought were really cool. Eventually she grew into her breed size and she and Gunny became best buds.

3 years ago was one of the saddest and hardest Memorial Day Weekends ever with our air conditioning going out during scorching Texas heat and NO ONE available until the next day to fix it and then waking up on Memorial day to the fact that we were going to be saying goodbye to the sweetest dog ever and with ABSOLUTELY no warning!

Her breed has a life span of 10-12 years and we had been battling with seizures and chronic ear infections for years, and then hip dysplasia and multiple tumors for a few months so knew we had been on borrowed time for quite awhile. We had been having to help her up and down for a couple months and then she had some sudden form of Inner Ear Infarction and could not stand or walk. The vet says it happens all of a sudden, but that doesn’t mean we’re not kicking ourselves for not finding a way to prevent it. Making this decision killed us, but ultimately her quality of life (or lack of) was the most important thing to us. She was hanging on for us, we knew that and it made it even harder to make the decision, but her sweet face in agony made the decision for us. Our vet has been in awe of her making it to 14 3/4, actually all our animals being so old for quite some time. We lost a 21 year old cat, Dickens in 2015 as she died in my arms, Sady was almost 20 and also died in my arms in January 2018 and then Gunny the black lab at almost 17 in March 2018. They all had good long lives, but are still so missed!

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DIMPLES BBQ CHICKEN modified

This recipe for Dimples BBQ Chicken, a type of jerk chicken, is based on a recipe from Fastina Sherman who was?/is a chef at Boar Hill outside of Kingston, Jamaica. The page is a torn cookbook page of unknown age that I think is from the BBQ Bible from 2008 maybe.  I found it among my cousin’s things when we were rehabbing the House From Hell and saved it because it sounded so good.  I kept the flavors virtually the same, but converted it to the oven.

DIMPLES BBQ CHICKEN modified
CHICKEN
8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • In a small processor, mince together the green onions, garlic, jalapeno, liquid aminos, paprika, thyme and avocado oil.
  • Pour into a large ziploc bag with chicken and marinade 12-24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Drain chicken and place skin side down on rack in a baking tray.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Dip each piece of chicken in BBQ sauce and return to baking rack skin side up for another 30 minutes.
  • Baste with BBQ sauce every 10 minutes during the final 30 minutes.
  • Serve remaining sauce on the side.

BBQ SAUCE
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1/3 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons QUALITY dark rum
1 cup red onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • In a small saucepan whisk together the ketchup, liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar and rum until well blended.
  • Stir in brown sugar until completely dissolved.
  • Stir in onions, ginger and garlic.
  • Simmer on LOW heat 20-30 minutes until thick and bubbly.

BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD with BACON VINAIGRETTE

BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD with BACON VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 shallot, halved and sliced thin
8 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, roots trimmed, halved and sliced thin
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • Whisk together vinegars, liquid aminos, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Add shallot slices and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Microwave for 1 minute until steaming.
  • Stir making sure shallot are submerged.
  • Recover and let cool 15 minutes.

 

  • While vinegar mixture is cooling cook bacon until rendered and crisp.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in shallot mixture, stirring well.
  • Add Brussels sprouts, red cabbage and green onions, tossing and cooking 2 minutes until well coated.
  • Transfer to a large salad bowl and sprinkle with cheese and almonds, gently tossing again.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

STUFFED SHELLS

STUFFED SHELLS
24 JUMBO pasta shells
2 CUPS shredded Mozzarella cheese

BALSMELLA (Italian Bechamel)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
1/2-1 teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste

  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour cooking 2 minutes until golden.
  • Whisk in milk and nutmeg, bringing to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat and cook, whisking periodically for 10 minutes until thick.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.

STUFFING
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 SMALL onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup QUALITY DRY sherry

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, cooking 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add ground beef and pork, cooking until browned, breaking up meat pieces into fine.
  • Drain off excess grease.
  • Stir in sherry and cook 5-6 minutes until nearly evaporated.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Stir in Balsamella sauce.

TOMATO SAUCE
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small red onion, chopped
24 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 KNORR beef gel packet
3/4 cup moscato white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced into a paste
3 tablespoons Classico sundried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

  • Heat avocado oil in a large saute’ pan over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic sauteeing until tender.
  • Whisk together the beef gel, wine, pesto and juice from the tomatoes.
  • Add seasonings, blending well.
  • Add tomatoes and gently crush.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread 3 cups of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish.
  • Spoon meat mixture evenly into shells, arranging shells on top of red sauce in baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbling and golden.
  • Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve with remaining tomato sauce.

NOTES:

  • I like to cook the shells the day before, chilling in the refrigerator over night so they are pliable and easy to work with the next day.
  • A potato masher helps to make a finely minced meat.
  • If you have any extra meat mixture I either sprinkle it over the shells or freeze to use later in a lasagna.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILE VERDE
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 white onion, chopped small
1 tablespoon cumin
10 LARGE tomatillos, chopped
3 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped*
3 Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped*
1 LARGE jalapeno, seeded and chopped*
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

  • Add peppers, garlic, oil and 2/3 of cilantro to food processor. Pulse until smooth with only small chunks.
  • Quickly sear the chicken and then chop into large pieces.
  • Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Add food processor contents and chicken broth to the slow cooker, whisking to combine.
  • Stir in cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and onions.
  • Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours until chicken is tender and pulls apart.
  • Whisk cornstarch and water together until smooth.
  • Stir into slow cooker, cooking for another 10-15 minutes until desired thickness.
  • Fold in remaining cilantro just before serving.
  • Serve with warmed tortillas, shredded cheese and sour cream.

NOTES: For extra flavor char peppers before chopping.

SALTED WATERMELON SALSA SALAD

SALTED WATERMELON SALSA SALAD
4 cups diced watermelon
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 SMALL jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup small diced red onion
1+ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

  • Combine everything but the watermelon and toss to mix well.
  • Gently fold in watermelon.
  • Chill and enjoy!

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY WEEK 22 of 2020

GOOD MORNING I hope everyone had a wonderful  Memorial Day Weekend and are staying safe.  I’m keeping everyone in my prayers during this CRAZY reopening of the country.  Despite this small trip. I’m personally not ready to mainstream ANYTHING!  I’m also keeping all of you in my prayers that live anywhere near these horrific storms that are all over the country right now. I’m sorry I didn’t get by to visit everyone while I was with family, but I will this week! 

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It was quite warm this past week while we were visiting family.  We’re glad to be heading back north tomorrow to cooler weather, even though it’s a bit wetter. I have on Levis with a western plaid shirt.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and toddler squeeze pack (apple and peach)

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

MONDAY
  • Apple store with protection for phone repairs and take trash to dumpster
TUESDAY
  • Start for home via a new route our nephew suggested.  We have reservations halfway and I have Clorox wipes to wipe down the hotel room and fixtures just to be safe.
WEDNESDAY
  • Do a drive through on our way home of a few cities that we are looking to settle permanently in.
THURSDAY
  • Laundry and settle in.
FRIDAY
  • Groceries and new glasses.
SATURDAY
  • ?? catch up on DVR
SUNDAY
  • ??

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV Not sure what’s on it, but we’ll get caught up and evaluate from there

I’M READING I loaded a couple books before we left, and I finished Hearts on Fire: A St. Caroline Small town series by Julia Gabriel on the way down and then started Jana DeLeon’s Bullets and Beads from her Miss Fortune Series which I’ll finish tonight probably and then I’ll begin Forever Orange Blossoms by Ava Miles part of her The Merriams series.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Here are a couple shots (some of your may have already seen them on InstaGram) from our trip to the lake.  The best part was certainly seeing family – family that we know had been sheltering in place until they too traveled to the family “compound” – 3 sequential houses on the lake for a few days. We relaxed, wake boarded on the lake, watched the wildlife on the deck, read, watched movies,  BBQed and I felt safe with people I know. 

I am NOT ready to be out in public on a regular basis!  I will also be happy to be home this week where I feel even safer. 😀 But I will have some great memories from this week.  I also got to meet my latest nephew, Dane!  From a socially safe distance of course.  I was dying to hold him, but can wait for his safety. 😀

My late brother-in-law has built a great life for the family in this sequestered cul-de-sac on a private lake.  Ray also LOVED crows and collected them (not real ones) 😀 Ever since he passed whenever we see crows it’s a family thing to say #RaysWatchingOverUs. 

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
BABY FOOD SQUEEZE & HOT WATER
BABY FOOD SQUEEZE & HOT WATER
BABY FOOD SQUEEZE & HOT WATER
BABY FOOD SQUEEZE & HOT WATER
BABY FOOD SQUEEZE & HOT WATER
??
??
LUNCH
SIL’S CHOICE
ON THE ROAD
ON THE ROAD
TUNA SALAD & VEGGIES
SALAD & FRUIT
??
??
DINNER
SIL COOKING
ON THE ROAD
??
??
??
??
??
DESSERT
??

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • SALTED WATERMELON SALSA SALAD
  • SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILE VERDE
  • STUFFED SHELLS
  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD with BACON VINAIGRETTE
  • DIMPLES BBQ CHICKEN
  • CANDY BAR RICE KRISPY TREATS (these were a BIG hit over Memorial Day weekend)

PARMESAN RANCH ROLLS

PARMESAN RANCH ROLLS
2 loaves (1 pound each), frozen bread dough, thawed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 envelope buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix
3 green onions, white portions only, minced

  • Grease 2 9×9 baking dishes. Set aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 18 portions.
  • Roll each portion into a ball.
  • Whisk together the melted butter and ranch dressing mix.
  • Fold in grated cheese.
  • Roll each ball in the butter cheese mixture and place 9 in each baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with onions.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm location for 45 minutes, until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.

PINEAPPLE STRAWBERRY SALSA

PINEAPPLE STRAWBERRY SALSA
1 pineapple, sliced, grilled and chopped
1/2 cup small diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
2 quarts strawberries, cleaned and chopped

  • Toss everything in a salad bowl.
  • Chill several hours before serving.

VIETNAMESE CUCUMBER SALAD

VIETNAMESE CUCUMBER SALAD
2 pounds Persian or Japanese cucumbers, semi-peeled (stripes) and thinly sliced*
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 large stalk celery, diced small
1/2 cup cilantro, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (OPTIONAL)
1/4 cup avocado oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, liquid aminos, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers, celery, jalapeno, green onions and cilantro.
  • Pour marinade over greens and toss well.
  • Add peanuts and toss again.
  • Serve and enjoy!

CRISPY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

We love fried chicken, but have really been watching what we eat so were looking for a REALLY crispy version of oven fried chicken.  I found a recipe over at Savory Nothings and only had to make a few changes to meet my family’s likes. The first change I made was to use skin on, bone in chicken. 😀

CRISPY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

6-8 tablespoons butter

CHICKEN
2-3 pounds chicken thighs

EGG MIXTURE
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk

BREADING
1 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs (Panko or Italian seasoned work as well)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 410°.
  • Place a dark-colored roasting pan or baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
  • Whisk together the egg and milk in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder and seasonings.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the flour, coating evenly and shaking off any extra.
  • Then toss the chicken pieces in the egg mixture.
  • Then, dip each into the flour mix again, this time pressing the breading well on the chicken to make it coat and stick.
Remove the baking pan from the oven and melt the butter on it.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces on the tray skin side down and NOT touching.
  • 
Bake for 25 minutes, carefully flip* (see notes) and bake for another 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Finish by broiling the chicken until it turns golden brown and crispy.

NOTES:

  • Your chicken will turn out bland if you don’t season it enough. You can add some heat by using a little cayenne pepper or chili powder to the flour mixture or a little Frank’s original hot sauce to the egg mixture.
  • A dark pan reflect the heat best, which results in the crispiest chicken.
  • I like to cook flat on foil for the first half and when I flip I place them on a rack on a second pan to finish.
  • Use a spatula to slide underneath the chicken and very gently release the chicken from the pan before flipping/serving. If you just rip it off with tongs etc, the breading will fall off.
  • Let the chicken rest for JUST 3-5 minutes before serving for best results.