Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

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I had to take Megan shoe shopping for the dance yesterday. Not an easy task at all. Bless her heart, she knows exactly what she wants but we can’t find it anywhere. She’s a women’s size 5 (which is hard to find) and the girls shoes aren’t as grown-up looking as Taylor’s (who is suddenly wearing a women’s size 6-1/2). We have one more place to try today. Crossing my fingers that we find something so that we don’t have an unhappy Megan tonight.

You can’t go wrong with pasta, cheese and bacon. This was super yummy. Perfect comfort food for after-shoe shopping.

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
1 slice Smoked Bacon
1/2 lb Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Flour
1 1/2 cups Fat-Free Milk
1/3 cup Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, do not add any salt.

While pasta is cooking, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Chop bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Pre-heat broiler.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Add cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Spray 8″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and Colby-Jack cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 6
Calories 359
Total Fat 12.3g
Total Carbohydrates 34.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 26.8g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Gloveables Dish Gloves — Red and Leopard with Black Bow

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

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Johnny was given an article to read at work. It was about finding things that truly make you happy. Determining what your long term goal are so that you have something to work towards. I think his plans involve us moving to Austin to room with the girls when they go to UT. Are you truly happy now and if not what can you do to change that? Life is too short to not be happy.

Smoothies make me happy! This was delicious. The perfect combination of cherry and vanilla.

1-1/2 cups Frozen Pitted Cherries
1-1/4 cups Fat Free Milk
3 Tbs Sugar
3/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Crushed Ice
Whip Cream (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Servings: 2
Calories 197
Total Fat 0.1g
Total Carbohydrates 43.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.2g
Protein 5.9g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Cheetah Pink and Brown Fabric Memory/Memo Photo Bulletin Board by Sweet Jojo Designs

Orange Pineapple Pecan Muffins

IMG_7868OMG! Even the smell of the batter for these muffins made my mouth water. I was afraid I was going to eat them all before Johnny even made it home. I managed to only eat 2. Then he ate 2, so I didn’t feel as bad.

1/2 cup Pecans
2 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Light Vanilla Yogurt
1 tsp Pure Orange Extract
1 Tbs Orange Zest
1 cup Pineapple, diced and drained

Orange Glaze:
1/8 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Orange Juice, warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool and then chop into small pieces.

Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda.

In large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the yogurt, orange extract and orange zest. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in the pecans and pineapple.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

While the muffins are baking combine the glaze ingredients (sugar and orange juice) in a small cup.

Remove the muffins from the oven and place on a wire rack. While the muffins are still very warm, brush them with the orange glaze.

Adapted from The Joy of Baking

Servings: 12
Calories 255
Total Fat 11.5g
Total Carbohydrates 34.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.2g
Protein 3.8g
Nutrition Grade C+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Viz-A-Ball Bowling Ball

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I had good intentions for this post but then I took my first ever Advil PM for my headache and it seems to be kicking in faster than I expected. So if nothing in this post makes sense, blame the advil. Don’t worry, I had already typed in the recipe before the medication.

Note: These were delicious….when they were fresh. Definitely not meant to be saved for leftovers.

1 envelope (1/4 ounce) Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Warm Water
1 tsp Sugar

2 Tbs Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
15 oz can Pumpkin
5 1/2 cups Flour
3/4 tsp Salt

Filling:
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 Tbs Cinnamon

Glaze:
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
3 Tbs Whole Milk

Directions:

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let stand about 5 minutes. Beat in remaining sugar, eggs, butter and pumpkin.

Gradually add 5 cups of flour and the salt. Turn out onto floured surface and knead remaining 1/2 cup flour into dough. Knead for 10 minutes. Dough will be soft.

Grease a bowl and add dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1-1/4 hours.

Spray two 13x9x2-inch baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix butter, granulated and brown sugars, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Divide dough and roll out onto a lightly floured surface to form two 16 x 10-inch rectangles. Spread the filling on top of the dough. Starting on one long side, roll up into a log. Press seams to close.

Cut each log into 12 pieces. Arrange 12 in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit in a warm spot for 45 minutes. (I prefer to to do all of the above the night before and refrigerate until the morning at this point.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Uncover pans and bake for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.

Blend confectioners sugar and milk. Drizzle over buns. Serve warm.

Adapted from Family Circle

Servings: 24
Calories 246
Fat 6.6g
Carbohydrates 43.1g
Fiber 1.3g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Print Light Switch Plate

Cinnamon Roll Dutch Apple Pie

Yesterday was one of the biggest games of the year for our house….the Red River Rivalry…TX/OU.

Lily in her Longhorn jersey

It was a sad, sad day for us. But despite the humiliating loss, we still had fun.

My sisters

The hubby

We had chicken tacos, homemade salsa, queso, taco salad, pumpkin rolls (coming soon) and this….Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch slices.

Press the cinnamon roll slices evenly onto the bottom and side of pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between the rolls. Mix the egg and water together and brush a little lightly over the cinnamon rolls. (You will only use a small portion of the egg mixture)

Place sliced apples on top of the crust.

In a large bowl, combine butter, flour and brown sugar to make crumbles. Sprinkle over apples. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

 

Topping:

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup Flour
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Sugar

Filling:

7 small Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thin

Crust:

1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
1 Tbs Unsalted Butter, melted
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Egg
2 Tbs Water

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch slices.

Press the cinnamon roll slices evenly onto the bottom and side of pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between the rolls. Mix the egg and water together and brush a little lightly over the cinnamon rolls. (You will only use a small portion of the egg mixture)

Place sliced apples on top of the crust. In a large bowl, combine butter, flour and brown sugar to make crumbles. Sprinkle over apples. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Adapted from Pillsbury

Servings: 8
Calories 330
Total Fat 14.3g
Carbohydrates 51.3g
Fiber 3.9g
Nutrition Grade C-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Polar Fleece Headband

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

We went to the Spirit store today to get the girls their “scary fog machine”. Apparently I’ve never been in one of these before. I had no idea they even made that kind of stuff!!! They had animated stuff from every scary movie ever made. The Exorcist one with the spinning head really freaked me out.

I don’t think I’d sleep knowing that was in my house, yard or attic. This is now the girls favorite store. I guess my days at American Girl and Build a Bear are over.

One of Megan’s only preferred meals….anything with chicken, pasta and nothing funny in it.

13.25 oz Linguine
12 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
2 Tbs Butter
1 1/2 lb Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless, diced
10 3/4 oz Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic, minced

Cook linguine according to package directions. Add broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked thoroughly.

Stir soup, garlic, milk, cheese pepper, noodles and broccoli. Serve warm.

Servings: 6
Calories 542
Fat 19.4g
Carbohydrates 42.7g
Fiber 2.0g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Look what Taylor found….a leopard Witch Hat – OMG!!!

Smokey BBQ Brisket

I wondered why all my little Martha Stewart mice and spiders kept disappearing.

I caught the culprit. Apparently she thinks she’s a cat…

This was delicious. I chopped it and made sandwiches with it, but you could do tacos, put it on a baked potato or just have it by itself.

2 lb Brisket, trimmed
4 oz Bottle Natural Mesquite Liquid Smoke
1/2 Onion, sliced
2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
18 oz Barbecue Sauce

Place brisket in a gallon size ziploc bag. Pour liquid smoke over brisket. Add onion, salt and garlic salt. Seal and chill for a minimum of 3 hours, turning occasionally to redistribute the liquid.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Remove brisket and place on a large piece of heavy duty foil. Discard liquid smoke mixture. Pour worcestershire sauce over brisket and fold foil to seal. Place in a roasting pan.

Bake for 5 hours.

Unfold foil and pour barbecue sauce evenly over brisket. Bake for 1 more hour uncovered.

Servings: 8
Calories 422
Total Fat 25.3g
Carbohydrates 26.3g
Fiber 0.6g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Bonnie Jean Girls Hooded Zip Front Fleece Poncho/Coat/Outerwear

Super Moist Sweet Cornbread

I’ve been in trouble all week. Megan hasn’t liked any of the meals I’ve made. She only wants chicken with pasta. Thank goodness I made the cornbread with the beans. It scored me a couple of points with her and it gave her a side dish for her 5th peanut butter sandwich of the week.

Taylor was upset because I built the Halloween village without her. So she’s already called dibs on the Rudolph village for Christmas.

Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, vinegar and butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy).

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, vinegar and butter. Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean. Remove cornbread from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Paula Deen

Calories 245
Fat 12.0g
Carbohydrates 29.6g
Fiber 1.5g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: My Secret Candle – Pumpkin Spice

Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese

Last week my friend posted a picture of a “Southwestern Grilled Cheese”. It looked delicious and since I thought I didn’t like avocados, I thought I’d be brave and try it. This was delicious!!! It was a great way to celebrate my huge accomplishment of the day….I finally finished my Halloween decorating!!! Only about a week late.

 

 

 

4 slices Whole Grain Bread
1 oz Provolone Cheese
1 oz Cheddar Cheese
1 Avocado
2 slices Bacon, cooked

Set broiler to high.

Scoop out the avocado and mash to remove all lumps.

Place bread on a baking sheet and cook for 30 seconds. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove bread, leaving the broiler on high.

On two of the bread slices, spread the avocado and layer the provolone cheese. On the other two slices, place the bacon and the cheddar cheese.

Place back in the oven and broil for 3 minutes. Combine 1 of each to make sandwich.

Servings: 2
Calories 500
Fat 33.1g
Carbohydrates 34.3g
Fiber 10.8g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Animal Print Manicure Set

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

Yesterday was Parent/Teacher conferences. I must have the shortest conferences ever. I think we were in and out of there in 4.6 minutes. The girls always make me so proud.  The girls couldn’t be any more different though. Yesterday, Taylor decided to start writing a book. She’s done a blog, keeps a Facebook page for our dogs and now she’s writing a chapter book. Pretty good for a 9 year old. Megan likes bling, cheerleading, clothes and big bows. But when the teachers every single year tell me how quiet they are I can barely contain my laughter. Taylor, Miss 20 questions and Megan, who is constantly doing something crazy. Apparently they store it up all day and save it for when they get home.

My friend posted a picture of cream cheese banana bread yesterday and it just so
happened I had cream cheese and bananas I needed to use. And thank goodness my sister lives down the street so I can take some of it to her so I don’t eat it all.

Mix butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, mixing until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Mix just until blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, walnuts and vanilla. Divide batter between the two loaf pans.

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over both loafs.

3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups +6 Tbs Cake Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1.5 cups Bananas, mashed (about 4 bananas)
1 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Topping:
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 Tbs + 1 tsp Cake Flour
1 Tbs Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8″x4″ loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, mixing until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Mix just until blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, walnuts and vanilla. Divide batter between the two loaf pans.

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over both loafs.

Bake for 1 hour, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent browning. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks for 30 minutes before slicing.

Adapted from Southern Living

Servings: 16
Calories 341
Fat 21.9g
Carbohydrates 34.4g
Fiber 1.2g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Betsey Johnson Women’s Lulu Crew Sock