Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken

A long long time ago, when I was in high school, I was on the Dance Team so we had to be at every football game.  After games, we always ended up at Applebees, and for awhile they had this amazing Tequila Lime Chicken on the menu.  But a few years later I went off to a college where there were no Applebees (and when I went home to visit, they had taken it off the menu) and so I had to find a recipe to help curb my cravings.  This recipe I found (and as usual, modified) actually was tastier than the one I loved!


1 cup water
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (Oy Vey's Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade is my favorite)
2 tbl lime juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp gold tequila (I use Sauza Gold)

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Spanish rice
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 cups crumbled corn chips (or I found some tri-colored tortilla strips in the dressing aisle next to croutons that work perfect for this)

Mexi-Ranch Dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbl milk
2 tsp minced tomato
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp minced canned nacho  jalapeño slices
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried dill weed
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
Dash garlic powder
Dash ground black pepper

Prepare marinade by mixing together all the marinade ingredients.  
Pour over the chicken in a shallow bowl or in a ziploc bag and marinate for 3 hours to overnight.
Prepare the Mexi-Ranch dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients and chill  3 hours to overnight as well.
Preheat the grill and cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side.
While the chicken is cooking, preheat the oven to Broil.
Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan.
Spread a layer of the dressing (there will be plenty left over for dipping) on top of the chicken, and then sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese on top of each piece.
Broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Spread a bed of corn/tortilla chips on a section of 4 plates.
Place a dollop of salsa on top of each chicken breast.
Slide a chicken breast on top each bed of chips and serve with yellow rice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spicy Southwestern Cornbread

Spicy Southwestern Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbl baking powder
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers chopped
1 small can creamed corn
1 small can whole kernel sweet corn
1 can drained black eyed peas
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400*
Grease a 9x13 pan
Mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, baki soda, and baking powder
Whisk together eggs, oil, and buttermilk
Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and mix until combined 
Add onion, peppers, corn, and peas and stir gently until combined
Pour mixture into pan and bake in oven for 40-50 minutes until top is lily browned and toothpick comes out clean from center


Caribbean Cornbread:
Omit onion, peppers, and peas.  Instead add 1 can crushed pineapple drained and 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Sweet & Cheesy Cornbread:
Omit onion, peppers, and peas.  Instead add 1/4 cup raw sugar and 1/2 cup whole milk mozzarella shredded cheese.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Dipping Sauce

Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Dipping Sauce

1/2 lb large shrimp, deveined and butterflied
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup plain bread crumbs
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup Pina Colada mix
3 tbs spiced rum (I use Captain Morgan)
1 tbl powdered sugar
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup Pina Colada mix
1/4 cup water
2 tbl crushed pineapple drained
2 tbl + 1 tsp sweetened coconut flakes
3 tbl + 1 tsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp cold water

Make the sauce first by mixing the 1 cup Pina Colada mix, 1/4 cup water, pineapple, 2 tbl +1 tsp coconut, and 3 tbl +1 tsp powdered sugar in a small saucepan.
Heat on medium low until the sauce begins to simmer, stirring frequently.
Let mixture simmer slowly for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch and 3 tsp cold water together until cornstarch is dissolved.  
Add liquid cornstarch to mixture slowly and let simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature while the shrimp is prepared and cooked.
Mix bread crumbs, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and coconut in a deep bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine Pina Colada mix, powdered sugar, and rum.
In another bowl, place 1/2 cup cornstarch.
Heat oil for deep frying (either in a deep fryer, or enough in a deep pan to cover the shrimp as they cook).  Oil is ready to fry shrimp when it reaches 375*.
Coat shrimp in cornstarch first, then in the Pina Colada mix,and finally dust with the bread crumb mix.
Second coat with the Pina Colada mix and then the bread crumb dustings again.
Place prepared shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
Remove from the fryer and drain on a paper towel to help remove some of the oil.
Serve hot with the room temperature dipping sauce.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Broccoli Bites

Broccoli Bites

3 eggs
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded Colby cheese
1 16oz box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed drained and dried
3 tbl bacon pieces (Hormel makes great bacon pieces found in the dressing aisle next to the croutons)
1 tbl diced yellow onion
2 tbl powdered onion ring mix (this can be found at any grocery store, by the bread crumbs, hush puppy mixes, and shake and bake)
Italian bread crumbs
Vegetable oil

Beat eggs with a whisk until well blended.
Place all ingredients (except the bread crumbs) into the bowl  and stir together until throughly combined.
Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour to help bind the mixture, making it easier to handle.
Place bread crumbs in a shallow pan.
Using an ice cream/cookie scooper, scoop about an 1/2oz portion of the mixture and roll in the bread crumbs.  
Place them on a cookie sheet, making sure they don't touch, and refrigerate another hour.
Heat oil to 350* in a deep fryer or deep frying pan (make sure you use enough oil to cover the bites as they cook).
Take bites out of the fridge, and form them into balls.
Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to give a second coat, making sure they are well coated.
Place the bites in a fryer basket or in the pan, making sure they don't touch and stick together.
Fry for 1 minute, then remove and place onto a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cheddar Biscuits

Cheddar Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Finely grated parmesan cheese (the kind you sprinkle on pizza)

Preheat oven to 350*
Mix together Bisquick, cold water, cheddar cheese, and parsley until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Drop heaping spoonfulls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with the butter mixture.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Flavored Candied Popcorn

Flavored Candied Popcorn

I remember as a kid, one of my favorite things to get at the fair was candied popcorn.  Mixing the flavors and trying out new ones was all so much fun and tasty too.  So when I stumbled upon this recipe, I had to stifle my screams of joy.  This is such a fun treat to make for your kids, and you can play with the mixtures to color coordinate for holidays too (Think cherry and blueberry for Fourth of July).  So get creative with this and have fun!

10 cups popped popcorn (if you like Kettle Corn, you can use buttered microwaved popcorn for a salty sweet taste, otherwise just use plain stove or air popped popcorn)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 3oz package your choice fruit flavored gelatin powder
1 tsp flavoring (same as gelatin flavor, or get creative and use a coordinating flavor such as coconut flavoring with pineapple gelatin to make Pina Colada popcorn)
1 tbl corn syrup
3 tbl water
Butter for greasing

Preheat oven to 300*
Grease a 1/4 sheet pan or 2 8x12 baking pans
Generously grease with butter a heavy 2 quart saucepan
Distribute popcorn evenly in baking pan and place in oven to keep warm
Heat greased saucepan over medium heat, and combine butter, sugar, gelatin, corn syrup, water, and flavoring.  
Cook until a candy thermometer reads 250*-265* or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a rigid ball
Remove popcorn from oven and pour mixture over popcorn, stirring so that it all is evenly coated.
Return popcorn to oven and bake 5 minutes.
Stir again, and bake 5 more minutes.
Remove from oven and pour popcorn out onto a foil covered surface.
Let cool completely and then break into clusters.
This can be stored in a airtight container in a cool dry place (that is, if your kids don't eat it all first)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Solar Flare T-Shirt

With this simplified batik technique, kids can turn a plain T-shirt into a summery top that will brighten up even a rainy day.


  • Cardboard
  • White cotton T-shirt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 4-cup measuring cup
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Fabric spray paint
  • Spray bottle
Total Time Needed: Weekend Project
  1. Solar Flare T-shirt - Step 1 Cut the cardboard to fit inside the T-shirt (this will keep the fabric paint from bleeding through later). Mix the flour with water (it should be the consistency of mustard) in the measuring cup right before you're going to apply it so it doesn't have a chance to become gluey and difficult to use. Pour the mixture into the squeeze bottle and then use it to draw a sun pattern on the T-shirt. Let it bake in the hot sun for a couple of hours until hardened.
  2. Solar Flare T-shirt - Step 2 Spray the shirt with the fabric paint (we used Tulip brand) and let it dry in the sun.
  3. Solar Flare T-shirt - Step 3 Remove the cardboard, then have your child peel off the flour paste to reveal her summery design. Wash the T-shirt according to the paint manufacturer's directions.