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Category Archives: Sous Chef Sundays

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispie Treats

Cranberry and orange is such a dynamic flavor duo, and it seems to pop up a lot during Fall. We also think it’s perfect for The Winter Holidays. And Rice Krispie treats have and will always one of the kids’ favorite things to make and to eat. So combining the two was a win for everyone. They still got to make , play in, and eat sugary, sticky crunchy melted marshmallow goodness, and we got to experiment with adding in some gourmet (that’s a stretch, isn’t it?) grownup mix-ins.

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispy Treats

If you haven’t experimented with going beyond the basic Krispie treat, this recipe is a perfect starting point. The tartness of the dried cranberries is balanced out by the sweet orange and packed into every chewy bite.

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispie Treats

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispy Treats 2

3 tbsp butter
1 bag (10 oz.) mini marshmallows
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add in the marshmallows and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Orange zest and juice. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.

2. Pour in both the cereal and dried cranberries, carefully stirring (so none spills out) until everything’s evenly coated with the melted marshmallow. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray, and then transfer the cereal to the dish. Use the back of a greased spatula to gently press the mixture down and out, evenly into the dish. Let the treats cool completely, then cut into squares before serving.

recipe adapted from Love Bakes Good Cakes

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Pizzadillas

While we try to keep things ‘PG’ rated at best around these parts, occasionally (just occasionally, promise!) things may change. Like now.

Once upon a time, a quesadilla and pizza got together. They had a very lovely, love child. The Pizza-dilla.

And tummies and tastebuds rejoiced throughout the land and we all lived happily ever after!

 Pizzadillas

Everything you love about a crispy, crunchy quesadilla oozing melted, cheesy goodness, but instead of stopping there it’s topped off like a pizza with tomato sauce, more cheese, and a few pepperonis for good measure.

These are a perfect thing to make with the kids. They’re easy to assemble and easy to cook, without a lot of parental assistance required. Helloooooo, Sous Chef Sunday!

Pizzadillas

2 tortillas. Regular size
1 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 tbsp pizza sauce
1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 slices pepperoni
1 tbsp sliced black olives (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
    2. Place one tortilla in the pan, sprinkle One cup of cheese evenly out over it, and top it with the second tortilla.
    3. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
    4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the quesadilla followed by the mozzarella, pepperoni and olives.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees just until the cheese on top has melted, about 5-10 minutes.

Sous Chef Sunday: Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

These may look gross, especially when you consider they’re called ‘tongues’, but they taste great and the kids (especially little boys- hey snails and puppy dog tails, right?) get a huge kick out of them. They’re perfect for a spooky Halloween treat, or even as a crafty snack to accompany one of our boys favorite children’s stories, I Need My Monster. Also, a great read when you’re gearing up for Halloween with its perfect mixture of scare and flair.

Monster Tongues

But, back to our tongue in cheek treat, perfect for any little monsters you may know. I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t love these fun treats, even the ones who squealed with equal parts disgust and delight.

And they’re e a s y, a mixture of marshmallows melted and stirred into flavored gelatin, and then is chilled in a pan before being rolled up and sliced into wiggly, giggly little pinwheels, err tongues.

Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

Monster Tongues 2

1, 3 oz, package flavored jello gelatin (NOT pudding), any flavor
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Whisk the gelatin mix and warm water together in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for about 1-1/2 minutes, then whisk again until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the water.
    2. Stir in the marshmallows. Microwave everything on high again for another minute, or until the  marshmallows are partially melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk again, this time until the marshmallows are completely melted and stirred into the gelatin mixture. Pour the gelatin mix into an 8-inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray.
    3. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, or until set. Run a sharp knife around edges of pan to loosen the gelatin from the pan. Starting at 1 edge, roll up the layered gelatin tightly, like a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

recipe adapted from Kraft

Sous Chef Sunday: Copy Cat Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread

Little Caesar’s $5 hot and ready pizzas have saved my butt at dinner time on more than one occasion. Still I think it’s safe to say that they’re crazy bread is pretty much always the star of their show.

Copy Cat Little Caesar's Crazy Bread

Soft and slightly chewy, brushed with garlic butter and sprinkled with a heavy-handed amount of Parmesan cheese. They’re pretty much the best version of a bread stick. Arguably, ever.

Copy Cat Little Caesar's Crazy Bread 2

I’ve never been good at the whole delayed gratification thing, and even though the closest Little Caesar’s to us is only about 10 miles away, when a craving hits that’s just too far. And that’s one of the reasons I love this make-at-home copycat version so much.

Craving satisfied 🙂

For big and little people alike.

Copy Cat Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough, or one batch of Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Roll out your pizza dough onto a clean surface, into a roughly rectangular shape (doesn’t have to be perfect or exact).
2. Cut dough in half lengthwise, and then cut 8 strips vertically (making 16 small bread sticks). Place each strip onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
3. While the bread sticks are baking, melt the butter and stir in the garlic salt. Remove the cooked bread sticks from the oven and brush on the garlic butter mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

Sous Chef Sunday: Copy Cat Sonic’s Ocean Water

Despite its name, it tastes nothing like the ocean. Which is probably a good thing. But it is blue, with a tangy flavor and a hint of coconut. And let me just say, that Sonic hit the nail on the head with this one.

 Copy Cat Sonnic Ocean Water 2

It’s arguably one of the best drinks they offer, and it’s pretty unique to them as well. At least I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. It’s just so refreshing. One sip and you won’t be able to stop the ‘ahhhhhh’ from happening after downing that first taste. You might even find yourself staring at your glass wondering how so much flavor got into one little cup. It’s a perfect little summer cocktail for kids and adults to enjoy. I know with the heat wave hitting us this weekend with over 100 temps (where ya at spring?!) an ice cold cup of Ocean Water sounds absolutely perfect.

Copy Cat Sonic’s Ocean Water

Copy Cat Sonic Ocean Water

4 tbsp of regular white sugar
4 tbsp of water
24 oz of lemon-lime soda (2 – 12 oz cans works great!)
1 1/2 tsp of coconut extract
3 drops of blue food coloring

Directions

1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the sugar and water and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. This should dissolve most of the sugar. Alternatively, heat the water and sugar over medium low heat, stirring until most of the sugar has dissolved. Add the sugar mixture to the lemon-lime soda, coconut extract and food coloring to a pitcher and mix gently. Allow the mixture to cool slightly if warm or hot.
2. Serve over ice and enjoy!

To be even more true to the original version, if you can find blue coconut snow cone syrup, then a pump of that into a cold glass of Sprite is 100 % authentic, but since I couldn’t we just made our own homemade coconut syrup 🙂 We couldn’t taste the difference, but in case you can, now you know!

Sous Chef Sunday: Big Mac Pizza

Wanna add some ‘wow’ into your family’s next pizza night? Our Big Mac Pizza is sure to do the trick. The sons could not gt over the fact that it tasted just. like. the sandwich. It’s pretty epic. The whole concept combines two of their most favorite things: fast food & pizza. And Mom’s actually letting them have both? IN THE SAME NIGHT?? They were on cloud 9, and I’m pretty sure if they’d floated any higher they would’ve floated away.

Big Mac Pizza

You don’t have to go super fancy just to change things up a bit. This pizza is a fun twist, but it’s still family friendly, and easy to assemble. And I’ll let you in on a little secret I discovered during the making of this dish. You wanna get the kids in the kitchen fast? Want them to actually want to help you fix dinner? WITHOUT complaining? Put the words ‘big mac’ in the name of whatever you’re having. Problem solved 🙂

Big Mac Pizza

Big Mac Pizza 2

pizza dough, homemade, store-bought, or pre made will all work
Olive oil (if you’re using fresh dough)
Thousand Island salad dressing
6-8 slices of yellow American cheese
1/2 – 3/4 lb. ground beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce
grape tomatoes, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions

1. In a medium sized skillet, brown the ground beef. Season the meat with salt and pepper, to taste. Drain the cooked beef and set aside.

2.For pizza dough, lightly grease a pizza pan or large cookie sheet. Pat or roll the dough out into pan and lightly drizzle some olive oil over the top of the crust and then bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.

3. Top the pizza crust with Thousand Island salad dressing and just like you would with sauce, use a lade or the back of a spoon to evenly spread the dressing out over the crust all the way up to the crusts edges. Top the spread dressing with the American cheese slices, and don’t worry if they don’t completely cover the entire pizza. Top the cheese with the ground beef. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over top of the beef.

4. Bake the pizza at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

5. Remove from the oven and allow the pizza to cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes, before cutting it into slices.

6. To serve, top the cooled pizza with shredded lettuce, tomato and additional Thousand Island, if desired. Enjoy!

recipe adapted from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Sous Chef Sunday: Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

After almost 5 years, we’ll probably only two where he’s paid attention, the youngest son has finally grasped the concept of birthdays. Yes, you have one once a year. He’s also gotten down not just the names of the  months of the year, but there order and that there’s not a random sequence to them. Yes, your birthday is in August. Yes that’s after June and July. So naturally for the past, oh 3/4’s of a year or so, ha know since the day after his birthday last year there’s been a count down to his next big day this August. He introduces himself to people with his name, quickly followed by the fact that he’s now 5 & 3/4.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Our everyday birthday cake banter has really had us all craving just that. But that’s a ways away. So I figured who needs to wait and wait and wait all the way until their special day just for a taste of birthday cake? Not us, not anymore. Not when we can have cake batter monkey muffins anytime of the year. Not to mention, what morning isn’t just a wee bit brighter with a naughty little bit of cake for breakfast? Some days the sons can have their cake, and eat it too! We’ll just save the homemade butter cream frosting for the party part.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins 2 

1 can jumbo refrigerator biscuits, NOT flaky
1 cup funfetti cake mix dry, or yellow/vanilla cake mix with some sprinkles mixed in
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Vanilla Frosting

Directions

1. Spray a muffin tin/cupcake pan generously with cooking spray.
2.  In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Transfer the melted butter to a small bowl and add the vanilla. Stir them together, and set it aside.
3. Add the cake mix and brown sugar to another small bowl, and stir them together until evenly incorporated.
4. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut each biscuit into four pieces.
5. Working with four pieces of dough at a time, dip them into the butter mixture, coating them completely. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove them from the butter mixture (allowing any excess to drip off) and transfer them to the cake mix bowl. Coat each piece completely in the cake mixture. Place four coated pieces into each muffin tin, repeat the process until all eight tins are full.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden, and the centers appear set being careful NOT to overbake them!! Allow the cooked muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before running a butter knife carefully around the edges and removing them from the pan.
7. Place a dollop of frosting on the tops of the still-warm muffins and top with sprinkles.
8. These are best served warm, but can be reheated in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds and served within one day.

recipe adapted from Chef In Training

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