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Author Archives: erinseclecticenergies

Non-Gooey Monkey Bread —Four Ingredients!

Non-Gooey Monkey Bread —Four Ingredients!

I have a bad habit of assuming that I remember how to make basic fare.  So things occurred this morning when I woke up a bit earlier than normal and thought that Monkey Bread sounded delicious.

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Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and get out a 9 inch round cake pan.

1/2 cup melted butter

1 tube Flaky Biscuits (8 count)  The Butter and the Honey Butter varieties are the best for these!

1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon (depending on your preference)

1 cup of sugar

First pour 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter into the bottom of your pan and spread it around until it has covered the bottom.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a cereal sized bowl.  Cut each biscuit into quarters.

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Proceed to dip each piece into the butter and into the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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Place each piece along the edges of the pan first, not tightly, but touching each other.  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Make an inner circle, again touching but no squishing.

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Keep a circle open in the middle.  This is where our creation expands in the oven. GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Drizzle the remaining butter over the top of the biscuits.

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Put them in the oven for 25-28 minutes.

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I peeked!

Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the bread and plop upside down on a large plate, or a cutting board.

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Accidents do happen!

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Never leave good butter behind! I did wash the counter for before the spill. 🙂

Enjoy!

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Are you CRAVING Thanksgiving dinner?

I am already craving the Feast that is ahead this month.  So to fill the need of my stomach with speed I tossed some ingredients in a pot and came up with this beauty!DSCN0233

Thanksgiving Dinner Soup

Serves 4

Time:15 minutes

2 T Butter

1/2 cup diced onion

2 sticks chopped celery

1 large thinly sliced carrot

2 cups shredded chicken

2 cups water

2 cups milk

3 t. chicken boullion

1/2 t thyme

1 1/2 t ground sage

1 t poultry seasoning

Topping:

1 prepared package of Turkey Stove Top

Saute the vegetable in the butter until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add in chicken, water, milk and spices.  Bring to a boil.  Prepare the Stove Top as directed on the box.  I make this in a microwave safe container in 5 minutes tops.  Ladle “soup” into bowls and top with a generous serving spoon of stuffing.  I like each bite of soup to have some stuffing accompanying it, that way the soup doesn’t feel like it is meeting its doom all by itself. 🙂  Happy Early Celebrating!DSCN0232           Before Topped with StuffingDSCN0234The Final Product

Puppy Chow/ Muddies buddies Remake!

Albertson’s had a great sale on Quaker cereal a couple months ago.  Capt’n Crunch Peanut Butter was my FAVORITE cereal of all time when I was a kid.  So I bought 8 boxes.  I don’t eat it anymore because I prefer Cherrios, but I thought my boys would love it just as much as me.  Nope, WRONG!  Fast forward to this week, I am on a Muddy Buddies craze, but I am running low on Chex and need a replacement. –>Insert Peanut Butter Crunch Here<–  This is so yummy!

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The regular suspects!

 

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The Results

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The Snack Bowl

Now you want to make it?

9 Cups Quaker Peanut Butter Crunch

1 Cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup butter (unsalted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 cups powdered sugar

Dump 9 cups of cereal into a large bowl that has a lid.  In a microwave safe bowl measure out the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter.  Heat for 1 1/2 minutes checking on it and stirring every 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir in the vanilla.  Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal.  Stir with wooden spoon until all cereal is coated.  Sprinkle over 1-2 cups of powdered sugar,, secure lid on bowl and shake for 10- 15 seconds, open and add more powdered sugar and shake.  Repeat until the cereal is evenly coated in white.  As a warning this stuff is addictive, and since it is technically cereal, it could be considered a breakfast food. 🙂

Chicken Salad, the right way

Does anybody else out there in internet land absolutely hate dry chicken?  I don’t like casseroles, salads, main dishes, etc, with dry chicken.  Moist.  Yesterday was my set aside day to can chicken to last me for at least 6 months. So 40 lbs of chicken was trimmed, crammed into quart and pint jars then pressure canned.  Now I have these lovely jars sitting on my counter. 🙂  100_0889Unfortunately one pint didn’t seal.  First thought in my head was an ingredients list to moist chicken salad.

Canned chicken, Craisens, celery, green onions, Greek yogurt, mayo, white wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Did you know that Mayo is fattening?  I cry about it sometimes.  So to make my chicken salad moist but not incredibly, over the top fattening I do a half and half situation with plain Greek yogurt.  Everybody happy?  The thing I like best about this recipe, is I have never really written it down and so it changes.  Today I didn’t have green onions.  I had a smaller amount of chicken but I added a full 2 stalks of celery.  I also prefer using white pepper instead of freshly ground black because my boys don’t like to see black specs in a mostly white concoction.

2 cups shredded chicken

2 stalks chopped celery

1/4 to 1/2 cups Craisens

1 chopped green onion

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1/3 cup Mayo

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Toss all of your ingredients to taste in a bowl.  Mix it around and put in pita, in a tortilla wrap, or put it with tomato and lettuce on toasted whole wheat bread.  This stuff is addictive.  It also makes a great fancy lunch item for when relatives decide to stop by.  Think about it, make it, eat it, love it.  I do. 🙂100_0877 100_0881 100_0884 100_0886

I also want to apologize for the pictures.  The only working camera in the house is my son’s 1.3 mp camera.  So imagine the lovely green celery slices and purplish red dried cranberries catching your eye automatically making your mouth moisten.  Okay?

Pulled Pork- At its BEST!

100_3436 I was never one for pulled pork sandwiches as a child.  At one point I saw the reason why, as my Dad didn’t add any flavoring to the pork until after it was shredded. My Dad is an amazing man and had a heck of a time raising all of us, but his pulled pork was not my ideal. So I found a remedy and even shared it with him after he had seconds.   As an adult, and on a VERY tight income (2 years and another 3 years of being a college students wife) I found food that was tasty, filling and cheap.  When meat was on the menu it tended to be pork roasts that I purchased for a steal of a deal.  And I would make sure that it would last more than one meal.  I have been making this recipe for so long I can’t even find the original recipe, and I don’t even measure anymore.  It is easy, it is yummy and it is cheap!

Pulled Pork

3-4 lbs of pork roast (no bones)

Sauce

1 bottle bbq sauce (use your favorite, I just use the Kraft variety)

3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Rub

1 cup brown sugar

1 TBSP onion powder

1-2 TBSP kosher salt

1 tsp fresh ground pepper

a Dash or 2 of cayenne pepper

Combine bottom 5 ingredients in small bowl.  Use as a dry rub on the pork, place in bottom of crock pot.  Pour about 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce into the crock pot and add the vinegar and liquid smoke to the bottle.  Shake and pour over the roast.  Set crock pot on High for 6 hours or 10 hours on low.  The meat should shred easily with 2 forks.  Place on toasted buns, or bread, or eat it off of the fork, etc.

According to my dear younger sister who lived in South Carolina for several months, the best way to serve this is on a hotdog bun with a lot of fresh SLAW!

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The Best Green Smoothie EVER!

IMAG1524  So, it was lunch time.  My boys were offered macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, chicken soup, green smoothies or scrambled eggs.  Big Boy shouts out “Green smoothies!  I get out strawberries!”  Okey dokie.  Big Boy helped with this creation, as he reminded me of the over ripe banana sitting on the other counter, and I helped a little as I remembered the 2 lone peach slices on the top shelf of the fridge in an otherwise empty quart jar.  My Dare Devil and Big Boy took turns turning on the blender as I put away the ingredients.  Kids are such big helpers when they are excited, and when they help make the yummy thing, they see that there is nothing in there that they don’t love, so they drink it without qualms, despite the fact they may be in the way and want to help put the strawberries in with their dirty hands. 🙂  I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did!  I will be adding the pictures at a later time.

2 big handfuls fresh spinach

1/3 cup orange pineapple juice concentrate

1/3 cup water

½ cup plain, unsweetened yogurt

9-11 hulled frozen strawberries

1 extremely ripe banana

2-3 slices of canned peach (or ½ peach)

Pack down the spinach in the blender, add the concentrate, water and yogurt. Blend until liquefied.  Place the strawberries in the mixture, letting them set for 1-2 minutes to thaw just a little bit, then add banana and peach.  Blend until there are no more chunks.  YUMMO!  Serves 2IMAG1526IMAG1530

Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Back at the time that asparagus entered my realm of edibles I found this recipe http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,168,147183-235197,00.html which has brought me to the dinner table very pleased.  When I was walking in the produce section I found my favorite size asparagus (super thin) and grabbed a moderately sized bundle for a mere $2.99 a lb.  My brain fought over the possibilities in which this casserole won (minus 2 dozen spears for my roasted asparagus recipe).  I thought I would share it with you so that I can pin this as a reminder of one more of my favorite dishes that doesn’t currently have a picture to pin.  So with out much ado, here is the recipe as I do it, to check out the original go to the link.

2 lbs chicken breasts (I prefer tenderloins)
3/4 lb of fresh Asparagus
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 c. chicken broth (low sodium if you have it)
1 c. milk
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (sharp is amazing!)
2 tsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
Salt & pepper to taste (I leave this out and let individuals add it at the table if needed)
Fry the chicken with some season salt. Melt butter and stir in flour.  Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes to “cook” the flour. Add in additional ingredients except the chicken and asparagus into saucepan and heat until cheese melts. (You can substitute the chicken drippings for the butter if you wish.) Lay long asparagus spears in bottom of casserole dish. Place chicken over asparagus and pour sauce over top. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Serve with rice.
This is an amazing meal.  White or brown rice compliments this well.  Even my younger boys love this meal.
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