Oreo Coal for Christmas

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This is the easiest thing ever!


Oreo Coal

  • 1 box Oreos
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick butter

Send the Oreos through the food processor until fine. Melt butter + marshmallows in microwave 1 min + 1 min (2 min in a row will make them puff up over the edge!), then fold the Oreo crumbs into the marshmallows/butter. You can flatten out like a bar, roll into balls, or make into coal shapes!

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Philly Steak Chowder

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Sorry I’m a bit late posting this; things have been kind of rough around here lately!

Anyway, I saw a recipe online for this soup, and it sounded pretty good. I didn’t have the ingredients it called for, so I made my own version! The one that inspired me was served in a bread bowl, and I think that’s the only way this could be improved. So tasty and perfect for a cold winter’s day!

Philly Steak Chowder

  • 1 box steakumms
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, thinly  sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1T garlic powder
  • 1t black pepper
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2T flour
  • 2c cold milk

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Sautee the peppers and onions until soft but not translucent. Add the steakumms a few slices at a time, cooking thoroughly. Sprinkly the flour over the onion/pepper/beef mixture, and stir until you cannot see the flour. Immediately add the cold milk, stirring quickly. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

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Easy Peasy Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad

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I won’t lie, I hate chicken. But every once in awhile I get a craving for chicken salad, and I inevitably make too much. Then I give it away to my neighbors! This recipe is similar to the one I made when I was a chef at the local grocery chain. It’s quick, simple, and makes A LOT.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad

  • 3 whole chicken breasts, boneless
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T garlic powder
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  • 2c water
  • 1/2-1c sour cream
  • 1/2-1c mayo
  • 3T lemon pepper seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Cook the chicken + water, cumin, garlic, and cayenne on high in your slow cooker for 4 hours or until internal temp of meat reaches 165F at the fattest part of the breast. Remove from slow cooker, shred while still hot. Cool to 40F within two hours. Once cooled, combine sour cream, mayo, chicken, and lemon pepper seasoning. Start with 1/2 c each sour cream/mayo, add more as needed to desired consistency. I like my salad a little drier because I put it on toast or on a bed of lettuce. Some folks like to dip crackers in it or put it on a wrap, and creamier chicken salad is better for those meals. Plus the chicken will absorb some overnight, and it’s better to have dry chicken salad and add more mayo than to have chicken mayo soup! Salt to taste and enjoy!

Rockin’ Crock Ribs

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I LOVE ribs. I could eat them every day if it wasn’t so expensive! A full rack lasts 3-4 meals for me, but at $13/rack, it’s a lot. And, if JI and/or Squeaks ever decide they want to eat ribs, it’ll be even more. So instead, ribs are a once a month treat. Usually I only make them during the summer, so I can put them on the grill. I was so hungry for ribs the other day that I decided to try something new, and damn, it worked perfectly. I’m pretty proud of myself!

wpid-collage_20151023132541256_20151023132654153.jpgStep one: Put the ribs in the crock pot. I had to fold mine in half.

Step two: Season liberally with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes.

Step three: Pour in two cans of cranberry pop – I used Diet Cranberry Sierra Mist!

Step four: Cook on low for 6 hours.

Step five: Transfer to sheet pan, carefully. They *may* fall apart.

Step six: Baste with BBQ sauce of your choice – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s!

Step seven: Cook at 400F for one hour. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Step eight: ENJOY!

Deposit to the Karma Bank

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wpid-collage_20151018193431029.jpgWhen I am feeling poorly, emotionally and spiritually, I will generally head back to church. Unfortunately, Catholicism and small children, especially wild maniacs like JI, do not mix. So, because I have a teeny tiny bit of disposable income, I decided to make up these packs for the homeless/needy. I have been trying to help as many people as I can lately, and so far I have bought groceries for a neighbor, bought JI the special foods he wants (instead of constantly having to say “no”), and have donated a bunch of stuff to the food pantry and women’s shelter. I feel that every good deed I do is a deposit to the Karma Bank, and will help me feel better because I see other people feeling better.

To make a homeless pack is very easy; collect non perishable food, drinks, toiletries, and anything else you can think a person might need (tampons/pads for women, 1-2 diapers, a $5 gift card to fast food, etc.). I put in 2 napkins, a spoon, pop, cereal, a juice box, crackers, floss, shampoo/conditioner, a fruit cup, bottled water, and a drink mix packet. Everything went into a gallon sized zippered freezer bag (they are stronger than regular storage bags), and wrote a sentiment on the label – “You matter to someone. Have a good day! :)”

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I loaded all the bags, eight total, into a large tote to keep in the car so that whenever I see someone on the ramp or the road, I can hand them a bag. I made them over the weekend, and handed out my first pack today. The man said “God bless you” without even looking at it… but hopefully, when he did, he was pleasantly surprised.

Easy Weeknight Pasta Meal

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I had an abundance of fresh produce that was about to turn, so I decided to use it all up in one meal. I went with pasta, as it lends itself to many different flavors and textures, and is very simple to make.

wpid-collage_20150923183418149.jpgFirst, I cooked the pasta and set it aside. I used radiatori so that the ridges on the noodles would catch all the tasty goodness of the vegetables. Next, I chopped up tomatoes, red peppers, and banana peppers, and then I added a heaping spoonful of minced garlic. I tossed those into the pot I used for boiling the pasta, added a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, and sauteed until the tomatoes were just starting to break down. At this point I added some sliced black olives and a green onion. I didn’t want those to get cooked too much, which is why I added them near the end. Finally I put the pasta back into the pot and stirred everything together for a few minutes, until the pasta was heated through. I served it with a huge hunk of crusty garlic bread and a sprinkling of parmesan. Even JI, Mr. Picky, enjoyed the meal!

You can add chicken to the dish if you’re into that kind of thing, or you can eliminate the cheese if you want to make it vegan. There are tons of options for this dish!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

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A couple years ago, my mom gave me this really strange and complicated recipe for jalapeno popper dip. She picked it up while on vacation somewhere, and thought I would like it. Well it hung on my fridge for awhile, in fact it’s still there, until last week when I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, though the recipe was clearly written, the steps were complicated and there was a high probability for failure. Anything that involves cooking mayo is a potentially disastrous endeavor! So I created my own using similar ingredients, and it came out perfectly!

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  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • diced pickled jalapenos to taste     (I used about 1/4 cup), drained
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Combine cream cheese, mayo, and diced jalapenos. Microwave for ONE minute. Stir well.

Combine bread crumbs and panko, cover the cream cheese mixture completely. Microwave 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with a michelada and heavy duty tortilla chips for dipping!