Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baked Potato Rounds & Bacon Wrapped Smokehouse Maple Chicken {Recipes}

Baked Potato Rounds

4 large baking potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder (optional)*
4-5 slices bacon, sliced and cooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped green onions (optional)*
sour cream or ranch dressing (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush both sides of potato slices with butter and set on parchment lined baking sheet; sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 40 minutes, or until cooked through, and lightly browned, turning once.

When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onions; continue baking until the cheese has melted.  Serve with sour cream or ranch dressing if desired.

*My dad and some of my brothers do not like garlic or onions, so I made a pan without those things.

(For our family, I made 3 pans of potatoes - approx. 3 batches.)

Bacon Wrapped Smokehouse Maple Chicken

Chicken tenders*
Bacon slices**
Smokehouse Maple Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken tenders with smokehouse maple seasoning, then wrap each piece of chicken in a slice of bacon.  Place on foil-lined pan and sprinkle more smokehouse maple seasoning on the top.  Bake for 30 minutes (??) or until cooked through.  Broil at the end to crisp up the bacon.  Turn the chicken over to crisp up the other side, too.

*The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but I just used chicken tenders and it was still very delicious!!
**You need the same number of bacon slices as chicken tenders.  
For our family, we used a 3-pound bag of chicken.


Both the potatoes and chicken were absolutely delicious!  As my Dad says - he'd give it two thumbs up:)

This is one of my "new" recipes that turned out VERY well!!  I think anyone in my family would recommend that you try them:)  Well, except a couple of the boys didn't like the seasoning on the chicken, but pretty much everyone liked it!!

Have a wonderful day and try some new recipes!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baker's Review Wednesday 44: Mom's Apple Squares w/ Maple Glaze -gf & Reg-

Mom's Apple Squares w/ Maple Glaze

3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 tsp. maple extract

Gluten Free Version:
2 eggs
1/8 tsp. salt
7/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup gluten free flour (Mama's Almond Blend)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp. xantham gum
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make as directed below, except:
 - use a 9"x13" pan
-add xantham gum with flour mixture

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 15"x10" pan (Costco Pan) w/ nonstick baking spray; dust with flour; set aside.  Leave the apples unpeeled, but remove core and chop the apples into small pieces.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs and salt.  Beat at medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute.  Add the sugar and oil, and beat until blended.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and beat just until combined.

Fold in the apples, nuts, and vanilla.  Pour into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and set.  Set the pan on a wire rack; let cool.

For the glaze:
In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, butter, and milk to make a spreadable consistency.  Mix until smooth.  Add the maple extract, and stir.  Spread over the mostly cooled cake.  Let the frosting set, then cut into bars.


A little addicting, perhaps?!?!!  I hate when I make stuff like this and I just eat, eat, eat.  That's why I should learn to bake stuff so it's gross, rather than good . . . maybe I wouldn't eat as much . . . ha ha ha :)

Well, yes, these are delicious. . . and addicting . . . and easy to make . . . so you can make them and be a pig with me!  How 'bout that!  Sound like a good idea to me!!

And yes, the gluten free version is good, too, for those of you that are gluten free . . . :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hallway Shelf Redo

 Well, I didn't actually redo the shelf . . . I just put different stuff on it - here's how it was before:
1. Full of all sorts of junk and randomness (yes, I know that was SOOO cute!!)
2. Pretty much empty, probably still a few bits of junk.
3. All pretty and cute and happy!!  Now!!

First I had been looking through some paper, and had seen the paper that the words are on.  Afterwards, I saw this bottle I had painted pink a long time ago, so I was I decided to use the paper as my main piece to match things up to.  I had also wanted to include the burlap rolled flower frame I made before.

For the bottle:  I had previously painted it pink (just with a brush and acrylic paint), so I added a strip of burlap and tied it on with ribbon.

For the flowers in the bottle: I found a couple sticks outside and put them together.  Then I added some yo-yo flowers I had made before by simply hot gluing them to the sticks and adding buttons in the center.

For the frame:  I found a photo of the kids and edited it on PicMonkey using Cross Process (I think) and then printed it out on cardstock paper and put it in the frame.  The cross process made it match so perfectly!!!

For the word thing: The words came from a card example.  I took part of a doily and put it on the paper and then added some brown/paper bag colored paper on top of that.  I printed out the words on pink paper and tore the edges of them and put on top of paper - cute & simple, I think:)

For the banner:  I took scraps of fabric and cut long strips of them, just random widths and lengths and tied them onto a piece of twine.  It's definitely not a "perfect" thing, but it's still kind of cute and adds a lot to the wall.

Have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baker's Review Wednesday 43: Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks

 Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tsp salt
2 cups hot water
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp instant yeast
3 cups shredded cheese (I used a mozzarella/Parmesan mix w/ cheddar)
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
1 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic crushed
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper. (I used a Costco pan.)
  2. Put first four ingredients in mixing bowl or Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour and yeast.
  3. Mix until well combined and then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until dough can easily be shaped into a ball with all the flour well mixed in. No need to rise.
  4. Divide in half. Roll first half out on floured surface, to approx size of cookie sheet. Put on cookie sheet and stretch into shape where needed. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Roll out second half, a bit larger. Place on top of cheese. Fold under the bottom layer, along edges. Cut through the dough with a pizza cutter to create 24 pieces. (8x3) Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 425F.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, Parmesan, oregano and garlic. Brush evenly over dough.
  8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until breadsticks are light golden in color. If a large bubble pops up while baking, simply break with a knife to keep the sticks even.
  9. Cut along the seams of the breadsticks and serve warm with soup.

These were VERY delicious breadsticks!!  I would definitely recommend that you try them!  Just do it:)

The only thing I would change from the original recipe is something that these would some how have more garlic in them, by maybe putting another clove of garlic in the topping or maybe some garlic powder in the dough??  I don't know what I'll do, but I'm going to have to test it out.  (Note: The recipe is the original, so if you would want more flavor in the recipe, make your own changes.)

Recipe from here.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

List = Productive Day

I feel like I've actually been productive today - yes that's a good thing.  I'm kind of a list maker, but most of my lists are made on my whiteboard, where I can just erase everything and start new when I'm done with it - and not have a million pieces of paper scattered all over!!  I completed everything on the list today and it feels wonderful!! 

Hope everyone has had a wonderful day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Custom Ordered Diaper Bag

 My aunt ordered this diaper bag a while ago.  I think it turned out really cute:)  I hope she liked it . . .

This bag has one handle, pockets on both sides . . .

I also made this little diaper pouch for here as a gift.  (She had a little boy).  If I made it again, I would've made it slightly taller so a baby wipes container would fit in it.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baker's Review Wednesday 42: Marble Blondies

Marble Blondies


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a square baking pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Blend in the flour, baking soda and salt, and mix well. Spread evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with the chips. Bake for 3 minutes, then remove from the oven and run a knife through the blondies in a zigzag pattern to make a nice marble swirl. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and then cut into squares.

When doing a double batch (which is what I made) I would recommend using a 15"x10" pan because I used a 9"x13" and the edges got really done since I had to bake it so long to get the center done.  The edges were edible -they weren't burnt, but the middle was just WAY better!!


These were super good and I would recommend that you make them:)

Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Picture Frame Redo's

 A while back I had decided that we should put our kids' pictures that had been in the laundry room in the kitchen . . . and while I was doing that, I may as well paint the frames so they would go together and get enough frames so there would be enough . . .

This is what it looked like in the laundry room before we changed everything (it is kinda very embarrassing to show this picture . . . please excuse the junk mess . . . we need to get that cleaned up.)  But yeah, you can see that it didn't really look all that great . . .

And this is after, in the kitchen.  I painted all the frames with a primer and spray paint mix, then got all the glass washed and the photo's put back in.  I made the family letters in clay at the beginning of this year (ha ha - they're definitely not perfect, but when they're that high up above the window, I doubt it'll be that noticeable:)   We tied the letters up with some twine.  I think they look cute:)

 Guess what one of my next projects needs to be now?  Here's a hint: there's a big, empty, boring space over the computer desk in the laundry room . . .

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Belated Birthday Gift: DIY Whiteboard & Keychain

For my cousin Katrina's birthday, I was having the hardest time deciding what to make her.  Earlier, closer to her birthday, I had made the key chain, but I needed something else to go with it.  Now finally on Saturday I got to making the rest of her gift.  It was actually pretty easy and quite fun to make!!

I simply took a frame and painted it white, then took a piece of scrapbook paper the size of the frame (8x10") and scrapbooked it a bit to make it cute and fun!!  I wrote "To Do" and "Words of Wisdom" on it, so she can either write reminders to herself of things she needs to do (I do that all the time on my whiteboard) or write bible verses or quotes on it.  (I think I need to make myself a whiteboard like this either for the bible verses or the notes, because they both don't end up fitting on my whiteboard:)  Then I simply added some flowers I had made onto the corner to jazz it up a bit:)

Wah - lah!!!  A DIY whiteboard since the glass works the same as a whiteboard!!

This is the key chain I made Katrina - the front and the back.  I used black and white cotton fabrics and then cut out a felt "K" and sewed it on the front to personalize it and make it cute:)  I really love these key chains.  The tutorial is here.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful day!  And hopefully I'll start doing blogging again . . . school's out after this one last week . . . and my oldest brother is graduating . . . . crazy!!