Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Recipes...

Sweet Chicken & Bacon Wraps
I made these little guys for a Christmas party and everyone loved them (good thing since this was a first time recipe for me). Anyhow, they are SO easy and SO SO yummy, just pop 'em in your mouth.... sorry, I dont have a pic...i know, bad blogger...

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Note: if you do not have a broiler pan, use a wire "cooling rack" placed on a cookie sheet (with sides, as the coating with get carmelized and make a drippy mess)

Puttin on the Ritz
You may have seen these, or something similar, but they are such a crowd pleaser and a great midnight snack I might add..

Spread creamy peanut butter onto a Ritz cracker and top with another Ritz (making a Ritz PB sandwich) and place them on a cookie sheet.

Place them in the fridge for about 20 min (helps the PB get firm for dipping)

While they are firming up, melt your Almond Bark Milk Chocolate (you shouldnt have to add anything, as it normally has the perfect consistency for dipping). How many Ritz you are making will depend how much chocolate to melt...I guess guesstimate...I melt mine in the microwave or you could use a double broiler on the stove.

Dip one side of the Ritz in the chocolate Almond Bark and place on another baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in fridge when done.

While that is drying, melt your white chocolate.

Give the little guys a good 45 min or so to dry, then dip the other half in the white chocolate almond bark. I dip about 5, then stop and sprinkle to make them festive with whatever makes you happy!

The finished product..... Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Frenzy

Okay, I have been reading all my favorite blogs, and reading of everyone's baking/decorating/entertaining frenzy, and feel super excited about the week to come. The Spirit of Christmas is Upon US!! As a full time working mom, I am at that moment where your list of things to do overrides your need for sleep, and you feel as if each day holds a mere hour in which you have to complete all your tasks. I honestly dont know how working moms of 2 or more kiddos get it all done! I have tried to stay ahead of the holiday hustle and bustle, by getting Christmas shopping done early, which was a HUGE accomplishment for me! Now, I just have to finish up wrapping everything. Heck, I even had our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving for fear that if I didnt do it the minute after I finished eating turkey dinner, it just wouldnt get done...and I am certainly NOT the type who trims the tree on Christmas Eve.

I LOVE to bake and make special goody packages for friends, family and co-workers, which I have come across many wonderful recipes from fellow bloggers and my favorite chefs over at Food Network, but finding the time to make everything that I would like is hard to do! I will still be making my annual treat bags, and I finally decided on what will be in them. I am keeping it simple this year:
-Peppermint Bark ( I have made this before and it is super simple and so pretty)
-Loaded Oatmeal Cookies (1st attempt at this particular recipe, courtest of Paula Deen)
-Puttin on the Ritz (this is my signature Christmas cookie that everyone begs for in July!)
I will be sharing all my recipes and feel free to share recipe links, ideas, etc. I also decided to create a Gingerbread Train with my son this year. He is 3 now, so I figured he would enjoy this! He loved it, as he was popping candy in his mouth!! Haha, I wonder where he gets his sweet tooth from???
I am planning on staying home ALL weekend to get baking, wrapping, and cleaning done. This past weekend I also helped my in-laws do all the food for their church Christmas Party, which was at their home. It was a huge undertaking, but everything turned out wonderful. It was a casual menu:
Autumn chowder with cornbread
Sweet chicken and bacon wraps
Spinach Artichoke dip with bagel chips
Turkey Pinwheels (recipe from Katie at Good Things Catered)
Stuffed Mushrooms (compliments of our sweet neighbor)

...and a few other appetizer type dishes...I will be posting a couple of my favorites from the party, as some of the recipes I had never made and they turned out fabulous!
Stay tuned....