Monday, June 2, 2014

june menu


I am so, so, so, so excited!  The doc has had me on a paleo diet for months - no corn, no potatoes, no sugar, no wheat, no diary.  Ugh.  I know that the diet has lots of benefits (I did lose 10 pounds!), and a lot of people have achieved much better health on it.  I have full respect for it.  But, honestly, I hated it.  I missed my recipes.

Well, folks, I'm off!  I have had the best time pouring through my cookbooks today picking out what recipes I'll be making this month.  Here's the list I've come up with.  All of the recipes with links are ones that have appeared on the blog before.  Those with asterisks are ones I'll be reviewing from a new Gooseberry Patch cookbook - they look delicious!

Angel Fluff Waffles*
Power Goop
Apple Fritters with Caramel Sauce
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Side Dishes
Bacon Ranch Beans
Cast Iron Fried Apples
Fruit Salad
Country Creamed Corn

Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

Main Dishes
Cheesy Tortellini Bake
Enchilada Casserole
Hearty Chicken Stew*
Starla's Savory Mac and Cheese*
Brown Sugar Meatloaf*
Honey-Walnut Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Florentine Alfredo
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Cheddar Apple Salad
Apple Chicken Quesadillas

Double Chocolate Brownies*
Cherry Buckle

Friday, May 16, 2014

grilled chicken marinade

Today I'm sharing with you the final recipe that I reviewed from Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook.  Remember - you can enter to win it here!

I think I mentioned before that I'm temporarily on a paleo diet.  Ugh.  Don't get me wrong, it's great for a lot of people.  I've lost 11 pounds in the past 2 months without even trying, and it's so healthy.  But it seems like all I eat is brown rice, meat, and steamed veggies.  It has gotten very boring!

I was so excited to see an entire chapter on marinades in Gooseberry Patch's book.  This one was so simple and has turned out to be a new favorite of mine.  It took our grilled chicken to a whole new level.  Whether you bake your chicken, grill it outside, or just plop it on a counter top grill like I did, you will love the flavor this marinade imparts.

Grilled Chicken Marinade
from Gooseberry Patch's Grilling and Campfire Cooking
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dry mustard
salt to taste
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix together marinade ingredients.  Flatten chicken slightly and place in a shallow glass dish.  Pour marinade over chicken, turning to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.  Drain, discarding marinade.  Grill chicken as desired.  Serves 4 to 6.

Monday, May 5, 2014

bountiful hobo packs | review and giveaway of gooseberry patch's grilling and campfire cooking

Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook!


Things here at DCC have been a little slow lately, and I apologize.  I've been on a doctor-mandated paleo diet to help a medical issue, and that has completely sapped all of my creativity.  Most of our meals consist of plain veggies, brown rice, and meat.  Not much to blog about.

BUT, lucky for you, that should be changing very soon!  I cannot WAIT to get back to cooking.  Creating recipes is such a fun hobby, and I love sharing it.

In the meantime, I've still been able to review some amazing Gooseberry Patch cookbooks with the help of my handsome husband and taste-tester.  The latest cookbook in my series of reviews is one I am so excited about because it's so different!

Grilling and Campfire Cooking - doesn't that sound awesome?!  I was a little nervous when Gooseberry Patch first asked me to review this cookbook because we actually don't own a grill and have no plans to go camping anytime soon (that's life with a potty-training 2-year-old).  Turns out, that stuff doesn't matter.  This cookbook is perfect for folks who like to grill and camp, but it's also great for those of us who don't.  Just about all of the recipes are easily made in the oven or on a counter-top grill.

Check out the chapter titles!  There's way more than just burgers in this book:

  • Hot Off the Grill
  • Burgers, Kabobs, and More
  • Gather 'Round the Campfire
  • Foil Packet Dinners
  • Cooking Out Indoors
  • Flavorful Marinades, Rubs, and Sauces
  • Icy-Cold Fresh Salads
  • Delicious Desserts and Refreshing Beverages
I love the wide variety of recipes.  I've found recipes for buns, side dishes, salads, and even desserts!  I've tagged several, including Sizzling Bacon Asparagus, the Grilled Pepperoni Log, Georgia Peach Smoked Chops, and Buffalo Chicken Pizza Pockets.  The Homemade Burger Buns looked so easy and delicious, and I'm especially excited about Tina's All-Star Sliders on Cornbread Buns.

We're looking forward to trying the Blackberry Skillet Pancake, Pan-Fried Corn Fritters, Rosemary Vegetable Medley, and Barbecued Beef Brisket this summer.  As soon as I'm off this diet, you can bet I'll be trying the Tangy Apple BBQ Sauce and Ranch Cornbread Salad.  And, oh my goodness, the desserts!  I can't wait to try the Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler, Chocolate Burritos, and Butter Pecan Ice Cream!

For this review, we tried four recipes that we could easily convert to the kitchen.  We loved them all!

Spicy Marinated Burgers

These were actually my own creation and submitted by me!  I love seeing my name printed in a cookbook.  If you've never sent a favorite recipe to Gooseberry Patch, you need to!  You can get the recipe for these delicious burgers here.

Bountiful Hobo Packs

These hobo packs are chock-full of a HUGE variety of meat and veggies!  I used my biggest cast-iron dutch oven, and I still couldn't get all of the ingredients to fit.  I ended up having to use two!  It was a simple meal, but it was so good that we were glad we had leftovers.  I'll be sharing this recipe at the bottom of this post - be sure to check it out!

Jambalaya on the Grill

This recipe for jambalaya is intended to be made hobo-style, in foil packets.  But, for kitchen cooking, it also worked great in a large cast-iron skillet in the oven.  My husband absolutely loved this - it had a lot of flavor and was really filling.  I also loved it because it was so easy!  Dinner took me so little prep time that I was able to spend more time cleaning my kitchen and playing with my baby girl.  Always a winner in my book!

I'll be sharing this recipe within the next week, so keep an eye out for it!

Grilled Chicken Marinade

We've been eating a lot of grilled chicken lately, so I was more than glad to try out a new way to prepare it.  This marinade was so easy to put together (seriously...took me 2 minutes), and the chicken tasted fabulous.  I cooked my chicken on a counter-top grill, but I can only imagine how amazing it would taste on a charcoal grill.  I liked this marinade so much that I've used it several times in the past few weeks.  I love putting it in a freezer bag with my chicken and then freezing it for later.

I'll also be sharing this recipe soon...stay tuned!

Now, to share the first of these recipes.  I can't tell you how much I loved this!  If you don't like any of the veggies in there, just leave it out or replace it with something different.  It's completely versatile and delicious no matter how you do it!

Bountiful Hobo Packs
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size flowerets
  • 8 carrots, sliced, or 1 lb. baby carrots
  • 1 to 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 3 ears sweet corn, husked and each broken into 3 pieces
  • 1 head cabbage, cut into chunks
  • 5 tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 t. seasoned salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, sliced

Spray eight 18-inch lengths of heavy-duty aluminum foil or a large disposable aluminum baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray.  Break up uncooked beef; divide among foil pieces or place in pan.  Layer with vegetables.  Add seasonings to taste; top with pats of butter.  Wrap tightly if making individual packs, or cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Grill over medium heat, or bake at 350 degrees, for 1-1/2 hours.  Serves 8.

My note: As mentioned above, I actually layered everything into two cast iron dutch ovens, covered, and baked in the oven.  It was perfect!

ENTER TO WIN!  Instead of doing a rafflecopter giveaway this time, I'm going to keep things simple.  If you'd like to enter to win a copy of this fabulous cookbook, just leave me a comment below telling me what you look forward to grilling this summer.  I'll pick a winner on May 20.  Be sure to leave your contact info!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

quinoa stuffed peppers

I've recently started getting baskets of fruits and vegetables from Bountiful Baskets (you should check it out and see if it exists in your area...great program!).  I have been loving the variety of produce, and it's forced me to try things that I normally wouldn't buy in the grocery store.

For instance, one day I got 10 anaheim peppers in my basket.  What exactly do you do with 10 anaheim peppers?

My thought - why don't I stuff them with seasoned quinoa and cover them with spaghetti sauce?  BAM!  It was easy and absolutely delicious.  We've eaten this recipe twice, and I've loved it both times.  And I love that it can easily be turned vegetarian.  I've got some vegetarian friends that I love having over, but I'm running out of ideas for things to feed them.  This recipe is sure to be a hit!

If you aren't into quinoa, you could easily use rice, although I think quinoa is absolutely perfect in these peppers.  Experiment with your own favorite herbs for seasoning, and try topping it with different versions of spaghetti sauce.  I think you'll love it!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 t. parsley flakes
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/8 t. marjoram
  • 1/2 t. thyme
  • 2 T. sunflower seeds
  • 10 anaheim peppers

In a small saucepan, bring the water, quinoa, bay leaf, and seasonings to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Discard bay leaf and stir in sunflower seeds.

Cut stems off peppers and discard seeds.  In a large kettle, bring water to a boil.  Drop peppers in and boil for about 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Remove peppers and spoon quinoa mixture into them.

Place peppers in a large baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until peppers are tender.  Serve with spaghetti sauce.

Monday, April 21, 2014

flaky cheddar-chive biscuits

I remember when Cookie Bandit and I were dating, he came to visit me in college and suggested that we go out to dinner.  I asked where he had in mind and was floored when he said Red Lobster!  Not that I have anything against Red Lobster, but it just seemed odd.

We were young 20-year-old college students who both hated Red Lobster?

But then I discovered the real reason he wanted us to go there.  He loves the biscuits.  Who cares if we would be the only people of our generation there?  Who cares if we'd have to eat the dreaded seafood?  As long as he got the biscuits, he was happy!

I was so thrilled to see this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine recently and knew we had to give it a try.  It's been years since we've been to Red Lobster - in fact, I think the last time was that particular date we took in college - so it was so fun to surprise Cookie Bandit with these biscuits!  They taste very similar to that restaurant favorite and easy to make.

You just combine the dry ingredients and then cut in butter...

Stir in the cheddar and chives and then add the buttermilk, stirring until just moistened.  Pat out, cut with biscuit cutters, and bake on a greased cookie sheet.

So delicious, especially when eaten fresh out of the oven.  Make sure you have plenty of butter!  Seafood is totally optional. :)

Flaky Cheddar-Chive Biscuits
from Taste of Home
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in cheese and chives.  Add buttermilk; stir just until moistened.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 8-10 times.  Pat or roll dough to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2-in. biscuit cutter.  Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.  Yields 10 biscuits.

Friday, April 11, 2014

slow-cooker barbacoa beef

I am sooooo excited to share this recipe with you!  It was our hands-down favorite recipe to review from Gooseberry Patch's 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes. Have you entered to win it yet?  It's so good!

We've always loved going to Chipotle and getting the barbacoa beef, but we don't live near one anymore.  This recipe has just as much flavor and is so easy!  We didn't even need all of the add-ons of sour cream, salsa, and cheese - it had enough flavor on its own.

These beef was great in tortillas, over a bed of salad greens, or on top of rice.  Heck, I was eating it straight from the slow cooker.  This is a new favorite at our house - I'm sure it will be at yours, too!

Slow-Cooker Barbacoa Beef
3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast
3 bay leaves
1 cup cider vinegar
juice of 2 limes
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 cloves garlic
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 cup chicken broth
flour tortillas
Garnish: shredded Colby Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole

Place roast and bay leaves in a large slow cooker.  In a food processor or blender, combine vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, and seasonings.  Process on high until smooth.  Pour vinegar mixture and broth over roast.  Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, until roast is very tender.  Shred beef with 2 forks; return to juices in slow cooker.  Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.  Serves 8.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

split pea soup

Here's another delicious and easy recipe from Gooseberry Patch's latest - 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes!  You MUST enter to win this book - go here for the giveaway!

Honestly, I didn't know what I was going to think about this one.  I decided to try it because it only called for a few ingredients and seemed relatively inexpensive.  Split pea soup has never seemed all that appetizing to me, otherwise.  But I really don't know why I doubted - this soup is great!

Because it's got ham in it, it's a full meal.  There is so much fiber and nutrients packed in, that I felt great about feeding it to my toddler.  And it was easy to customize - I swirled some sour cream in my husband's and topped mine with a bit of bacon.  Mmmmmmmm.........

Split Pea Soup
from Gooseberry Patch's Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes
1 lb. cooked ham, diced
1 lb. carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 12-oz. packages dried split peas
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ham, carrots and onion in a freezer-safe container.  Refrigerate overnight, or freeze until ready to cook.

To cook: Thaw ham mixture overnight in refrigerator if frozen.  Combine thawed ham mixture and dried peas in a slow cooker.  Add enough water to cover.  Cover and cook on high setting for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender and soup becomes very thick.  Add additional water to reach desired consistency, if desired; season with salt and pepper.  Serves 8 to 10.
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