Monday, June 29, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

We got a new grill, and this was the first thing we made on it. At Lowe's we found this nifty stand for $4 to make this recipe so much easier since you don't have to figure out how to make the chicken balance anymore! I highly recommend picking one up!

Beer Can Chicken
Serves: 3-4

1 whole chicken, guts removed, rinsed and patted dry (about 3.5 pounds is a good size)
1 hunk of onion
1/2 can of beer
1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce
spray butter

2-3/4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-3/4 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Preheat the grill to about 375. Mix up all the spices in a small bowl.

2. Chug half a beer and leave half. Pour in the worcestershire sauce. Place can in the stand. Violate the chicken and shove the cavity over the can and press down as far as it will go. The drumsticks should just barely touch the grill grate. I usually tuck the wings close to the body and tie a piece of string around the entire bird to keep them tucked so they don't dry up and burn.

3. Shove about half of the spices underneath the skin wherever you can. Shove the chunk of onion into the neck hole of the bird as far as you can. Spray the bird with butter all over then rub the remained of the seasoning all over.

4. Carefully place on the grill and cook over 375-400/medium heat for about an hour. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 180 with a meat thermometer.

5. Remove from grill and let stand for about 5 minutes before cutting into it.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Yet again we were faced with nothing in the fridge and no good ideas for dinner. What we really wanted to eat was Buffalo Chicken Dip, but that is not really a meal. So I made it into one. It was freaking good. Please note, I found this recipe for the pizza dough and it is a no-wait, no-raise recipe, which is awesome when you are in a hurry. It makes the dough pretty dense so don't you dare complain about it or say that I missed a step because I didn't let it raise... that's the point!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Serves: 3-4

* 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
* 6 oz Frank's buffalo sauce
* 4 oz Ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley)
* 1/2-3/4 pound ground chicken
* 1 cup shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese

*3 cups all-purpose flour
*1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon white sugar
*1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly spray a pizza pan with non stick spray.

2. In a skillet, cook the ground chicken until no longer pink and add the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, and ranch and heat over low until combined.

3. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Squish into a ball and then roll out onto the pizza pan. The crust is decently thick if you use a regular sized circular pizza pan. Squish up the edges to make an edge crust. Bake for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove the crust and dump on the chicken mixture and spread out. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is done.

Chicken O'Brien

This was another one of the 'what's in the fridge that I can throw together and make a casserole' recipes. It was pretty good, but definitely needs more seasoning. I'm sure you can think of something that will make it even more tasty.

Chicken O'Brien
Serves: 3-4

4 chicken breasts (or thin sliced breasts or tenders)
1 can condensed cheese soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2+ cups of frozen potatoes o'brien hash browns
1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a 9x13 pan, spray with non stick spray and lay out the chicken in a single layer. Mix together the soup and milk and spread over the chicken. Add the corn and a layer of potatoes then the cheese.

2. Bake for about 45 minutes, depending on the cut of chicken. You may want to broil for the last 2-3 minutes to crisp up the cheese. Just watch it or it will burn.

Ideas on how to kick up the seasoning?

Hot Potatoes

Mmm tasty. Another good grill recipe. You can adjust the fire by taking all, some, or none of the seeds/membrane out of the jalapenos.

Hot Potatoes
Serves: 3-4

6-8 medium to large sized red potatoes, washed and dried
2 jalapenos, deseeded/membrane if you wish, cut in a large dice
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
Grill seasoning and garlic salt to taste
Handfuls of shredded cheese (mexican, colby jack, cheddar etc)

1. Layout a length of foil. Spray with some non stick spray. If you have a mandolin, get that puppy out, otherwise do it by hand. Slice the potatoes decently thin and place on foil. Throw in the butter and jalapenos and sprinkle with the salt and seasoning.

2. Fold up the foil and place on the grill. Cook on a medium heat grill 30 minutes, turning once. Cooking time will vary depending on how thin the potatoes are... this is a trial and error.

3. Remove from grill and carefully open the foil. Sprinkle on a layer of cheese and cover lightly with the foil so it gets all melty. Serve.

Fabulous Corn

We make this a lot when we grill. It is an easy and awesome side dish and we can't get enough of it. Try it, you will like it.

Fabulous Corn
Serves: 2-3

1 can corn, drained
1/2 cup of diced onion, red pepper, and green pepper... don't measure, just dice up a couple small hunks
1 tablespoon butter
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Garlic Salt
2 tablespoons chive & onion cream cheese (or plain if you have that)

1. Over medium heat in a small pan, saute the onions and peppers in the butter for a few minutes until they soften some. Add the corn and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the steak seasoning and garlic salt to taste (maybe like 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of seasoning). Cook for about 8 minutes.

2. Add the cream cheese and stir to coat. Cook for another couple minutes and serve. YUM

Easy Grilled Asparagus

This is barely a recipe... but sometimes you, dear reader, need some ideas on what to make for dinner, so maybe this will help.

Easy grilled Asparagus
Serves: 4-6

1 bunch asparagus
spray butter
steak seasoning

1. Lay out a chunk of foil. Bend the asparagus until they snap (easier than trimming) and place on the foil. Use spray butter and coat spears. Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning.

2. Fold up packet and place on a medium heat grill for about 8 minutes, flipping once. Cook time depends on how firm you like your asparagus.

Taco Rice Skillet

I needed to use up some ground turkey and we needed a quick meal. So I looked up some recipes as inspiration and started throwing whatever into a pan. Worked out great and the leftovers made a great midnight snack... the guys at it as dip! I think it would make a better dip if you switched out the shredded cheese for a big hunk of Velveeta... might try that in the future for a yummy party dip.

Tace Rice Skillet
Serves: 3-4

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup shredded cheese

In a skillet, cook turkey and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary.

Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa and corn; bring to a boil. Add rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Apple PB Cookies

These are tasty and almost healthy! You definitely need to eat these within 24 hours or they will fall apart from the moisture content. I actually cut the recipe in half and made like 10 cookies (yes I cut an egg in half haha). I found this recipe at Pennies on a Platter

Apple PB Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen

1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
3/4 Cup granola clusters (Or Just Bunches cereal, I would add more next time)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup diced apples, about 1/4 inch, I used granny smith

1/2 Cup sugar to roll cookies in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light mixed well. Beat in peanut butter until combined then add the egg and vanilla until well combined.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, granola, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients following the apples until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough, roll into sugar then place onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. With tines of a fork, press down slightly making an X on top of each cookie. Bake for 8-9 minutes, cookies should look somewhat soft inside when you take them out. Let cool/finish baking out of oven for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It is an honor just to be nominated....

Friends and Family...

As you may or may not know, one of my many talents is wedding planning!! I am able to indulge this, well, obsession really, thru my very good friend's company Simplicity Day of Event Coordinating where I am an assistant DOC. Well Simplicity has been nominated for the best wedding planner in Detroit in the Click on Detroit's Vote 4 the Best contest! If you could take a minute of your time and vote for us, we would truly appreciate it!

Just click here to cast your vote... you can only vote once per email account.


P.S. I also support Kreativ Imaging for best photographer if you happen to wander over to that section of the voting =)