Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jerk Chicken

This is one fantastic way to do up some chicken if you ask me.  Now, I will be the first to admit that this is not 'real' Jerk Chicken.  I didn't cook it in the ground for days and I did not forage for my herbs, but it is still one delicious version of it.  It is spicey without being hot, but seasoned to the tee.  Paired up with some honey grilled-pineapples, grilled asparagus and plated with some steamed Jasmine rice, it is my kind of chicken dinner.

3 lbs. of skinless chicken (I sliced up boneless breasts into strips)
1/3 cup of Carribean Jerk Seasoning
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of pineapple juice (from the can of sliced pineapples)
1/4 cup of coconut milk
2 T. of lime juice
2 T. of extra virgin olive oil
2 T. of soy sauce
1 large can of sliced pineapple rings
1 recipe of my Grilled Asparagus

-Place your chicken in a large 1 gallon double zipper ziploc bag.  In a medium bowl, stir together the seasoning, vinegar, orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut milk, lime juice, e.v.o. adn the soy sauce; reserving a small amount in a sealed container for plating (about 4 T.'s or so).  Pour the marinade in with your chicken and seal it well; shake it to mix.  Refrigerate to marinate for up to 24 hours (the longer the better- I do 24 hrs).  When you are ready to cook it, preheat your grill to a medium flame.  Discard the marinade and grill the chicken strips until the juices run clear (mine were thin so about 5 minutes), turning often. Meanwhile, when you toss on your chicken, also toss on your pineapple rings with smear of honey on each side- grill them and turn them just like your chicken.  Plate it all up and drizzle that reserved marinade.  Serve with grilled asparagus and steamed Jasmine rice.  Serves 6.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Peanut Butter Crackers

I know that this is no rocket science recipe here and all, but I will tell you this, that it is tasty just the same. And being that I am compelled by some unknown force, I must share this little quickie snack.  Because it is just too good not to.  I also know that it sure does seem to be a strange combination, being that there is string cheese on a peanut butter cracker, but it works.  It works so well that I can guarantee you'll be making another dozen before you're done with your first.  It's a nice light and healthy lunch or in between snack that will leave you satisfied and guilt-free.  And that sure does work for me.

12 reduced fat Ritz crackers
some peanut butter (I only buy Jiff creamy)
1 mozzarella string cheese stick (sliced into 12 pieces)

-Simply smear some peanut butter across your crackers and top each one off with a piece of cheese.  Serves 1.  Enjoy!

Homemade Lavender Bubbles

With the price of things nowadays, homemade is the way to go with just about anything and everything, all the way down to the bubbles.  Yes, have you noticed that the bottles have gotten smaller since you were a kid and that their prices have gotten larger?  Because, I sure have.  It is pretty sad when you are going through the store and your child picks up a bottle of bubbles that is sold, of course, along with some bubble blowing contraption that takes like 5 batteries and costs $9.99, and you have to tell your child no.  Not that you don't want them to have classic backyard fun, but that you can't afford to buy them.  I do not want the contraption, just the dang bubbles.  It's a conspiracy I swear.  So, in protest, I now make my own.  And, not only do they smell absolutely amazing while you are playing with them, but they soften your hands as well.  And, now, we are never out of bubbles :)

1 gallon (16 cups) of tap water
1 cup of lavender dish soap (I used Palmolive)
1/2 cup of light corn syrup

-Combine all three ingredients in a large mixing bowl by slowly stirring together (making the least amount of suds as possible).  Allow this to sit for a few hours to 'merry' (otherwise your bubbles won't form if used too soon).  You can transfer it into a pitcher, empty gallon jug or what-have-you for storage (I saved the last 2 store-bought bubble containers and wands to re-use for this).  Then it is ready to use with bubble wands, plastic clothing hangers (which make huge bubbles) and more :)  Makes just over 1 gallon.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meatloafburger In Paradise

While this was baking away in my oven, I was washing up some dishes and boiling my potatoes.  And I was thinking.  Thinking of when my Step-Dad used to make this one for us when I was a little girl.  A little girl, who hated meatloaf.  Until, that is, that I had his.  How I could remember coming in from school to the sound of the hand-held mixer going and the aroma of this wafting through the door to greet me.  I had learned to love meatloaf.  But not just any one's meatloaf, only my Step-Dad, Mike's, meatloaf.  Otherwise, no way and no thank you.  Like it's not even gonna happen.  But, I will eat his meatloaf any day of the week.  Maybe it is because I grew up on it and we were to eat what we were given.  There wasn't much to go around and everything was stretched as far as it would go. Or maybe, just maybe, because it was good back then.  Just as it is still good now.  Just plain and simple good.

1 1/4 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 shakes of lite soy sauce
3-4 T. of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 T. of steak sauce (I used A.1.)
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 a cup of plain bread crumbs
3 slices of American cheese

-Preheat your oven to 350*.  In a large mixing bowl, using your hands, knead to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the cheese slices.  Once it is good and mixed, place it into a loaf pan.  Shape it into a loaf, keeping it away from the edges (this way the grease can separate from it and be easily poured out).  Go ahead and do a big healthy smear of some extra BBQ sauce all across the top and down the sides.  Bake on the center rack of your oven at 350* for 1 hour.  Carefully remove it from the oven, using a spatula to hold the loaf in, pour out the grease (I save old pickle/ jam jars just for this stuff).  Once the grease has been discarded, using your spatula again, lift the loaf up and then flip it onto it's side while still in the loaf pan.  With a serrated knife, cut the loaf in half lengthwise (so you are cutting off the top).  Then use your spatula again to lift up the top half, wiggle your loaf pan around to let the bottom half fall back in place, layer the cheese slices over it and then replace the top half back on top (basically you are making a stuffed meatloaf here).  Place it back into the oven for about 3-5 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.  Serves 4.  Enjoy!