Mexican Chicken Taco Skillet

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You guys. How is summer almost over and school about to start? I am sooo not ready for this! M will be in first grade this year, and a full-time student. Which means homework, and picking up/dropping off kids at two different places on weekdays.

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I know that I am going to need to have plenty of one pot meals in my arsenal to help me get dinner on the table on crazy school nights.

I seems that pretty much everyone loves anything “Mexican” or “taco” and this easy meal doesn’t disappoint. Just a few minutes prep and one pot(!) and dinner is cooking. This dish can be topped with any of your favorite taco toppings, so everyone in the family add what they like. Winner winner chicken dinner!

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Mexican Chicken Taco Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 taco seasoning packet (or 3 tablespoons, if using a bulk mix)
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14oz) can corn, drained
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice (I use Jasmine)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Taco Toppings:
  • sour cream, tomatoes, diced avocado, black olives, cilantro, chips etc.

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onion and chicken pieces in the oil until the chicken is browned and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes (undrained), mexicorn, white rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes (or until rice is cooked through), stirring halfway.

Top with cheese and cover for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from heat and top with taco toppings as desired. Leftovers heat well!

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Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream

Two years!! Two years since I decided to create a blog, two years since I started taking pictures of food and posting them for all the world to see. Two years of recipe trials, fails and successes.

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A lot can happen in two years, thank you all for sticking with me while I learn and little little blog of mine grows. I love each and every one of you!

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Sprinkles scream celebration, and ice cream is one of my top 5 favorite foods, so I have the most cheerful – EASY!- ice cream recipe for you, chalk full of sprinkles and yummy cookies to celebrate the big 2!

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Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Can 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups roughly chopped Circus Animal Cookies
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles

Instructions

Whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and vanilla until stiff peaks have formed.

Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, fold just until combined.

Pour half of your whipping cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Swirl in a layer of circus animal cookies and sprinkles. Pour and smooth more ice cream mixture over the first layer and then finish with another layer of cookies.

Freeze in container over night.

*Ice cream will freeze solid but softens perfectly to serve after a few minutes left sitting out on the counter.

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Homemade Hamburger Helper

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Once a year when I was little my dad would leave my mom, brother and I home for a week and go on a hunting trip. While I’m sure we missed him, we looked forward to eating some of the meals that Dad wasn’t fond of. One of those meals was Hamburger Helper, particularly the “cheeseburger macaroni” kind. For me, that was my favorite and I could eat it by the bowl-ful.

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I still love cheeseburger macaroni just as much now that I am an adult, but as a food blogger I love finding homemade versions of store-bought favorites that taste better and are a little better for you.

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This recipe doesn’t disappoint. It’s about as easy as dinner can get, and comes together quickly. One pan meals are my favorite, and a meal that the kids and I love without having to do lots of dishes is a win-win for me!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup dry macaroni
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup dry macaroni

1 cup hot water

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Recipe Source: Buns In My Oven

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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Its been interesting to watch how my kids’ tastes change over the years. They started out as great eaters, but now like most kids its sometimes like pulling teeth to get them to eat a balanced meal.

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I really can’t blame them for their changing tastes though, because in the last few months I have noticed that my tastes have been changing too. Example? All the sudden, I want all things vinegar. Bring on the bread and butter pickles, pepperoncini peppers and pickled bean salad. Maybe its just a phase, but I can’t get enough!

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Breakfast used to be the meal I would gladly skip, or eat cold pizza or leftover because breakfast foods didn’t really do it for me. Not anymore! Now I love breakfast, brunch, brinner, both savory and sweet. Pancakes are best at dinner time to me, and these pancakes rocked my world. I adore anything lemon, and the ricotta cheese made these taste reminiscent of cheesecake to me. Cheesecake at breakfast? I’ll take it! I loved these with blackberry syrup, but the kids enjoyed them with maple syrup.

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Blackberry or maple syrup for serving

Instructions

In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; whisk well to combine. In a separate bowl add the eggs and lightly beat them with a whisk. Add in the milk, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until well combined. Stir this wet mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a buttered hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes before flipping them over, or until small bubbles form on top. Cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with all pancake batter. Serve pancakes warm, with syrup.

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LIGHT RANCH BLT CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH

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I love cooking and would do it all day every day if I could. That much is obvious. But even a foodie like me draws the line at being in the kitchen when its as hot as it is right now. I don’t have AC, so I can only stand to be in the kitchen long enough to throw something quick together.

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This sandwich makes the perfect lunch or dinner. I like it so much better than traditional chicken salad, and we all know bacon and ranch makes everything better! This makes a wonderful sandwich, but would be great with crackers, on a croissant or over a bed of greens.

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Light Ranch BLT Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. light mayo
  • ¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. djjon
  • 1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning
  • 1.5 c. chicken cooked and cubed
  • ¾ c. tomato, seeded and chopped
  • ⅓ c. bacon pieces cooked
  • ½ c. green onions diced
  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • lettuce for garnish

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, dijon and ranch seasoning until well combined. To that add the chicken, tomatoes, bacon and green onion. Stir until evenly coated. Store refrigerated for 1-2 hours before serving for the best flavors.

Arrange salad and lettuce on bread, serve immediately

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones with Lemon Curd

What would your ideal job be? I mean, not ice cream or beer tester, but a real legit job? Are you lucky enough to be doing that job? I sure hope so!

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My day job isn’t my dream job, but it pays the bills. If I could, I would love to be an even planner/coordinator. I am super organized and detail oriented, and with all of the parties and gatherings I have hosted, I think I would be pretty fantastic at it!

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These scones and lemon curd are so fantastic, they were made for sharing. I would love to have a brunch as serve these as part of the spread.

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The scones are perfectly tender and sweet, and the tart and smooth lemon curd is the perfect accompaniment. If you don’t have time for the lemon curd you could use store bought, but please don’t skip it. Its absolute perfection with these fruit filled pastries!

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones with Lemon Curd

Ingredients

    Scones
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup copped rhubarb
  • Lemon Curd
  • 7 to 8 large egg yolks, depending on size
  • 1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4½ fluid ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 large lemons)
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pats

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the strawberries and rhubarb, tossing to coat. Shred the cold butter with a box grater. Add to the flour mixture and toss gently. Place bowl in the freezer to keep cold. Mix together the cream, lemon juice and egg with a fork. Place in fridge to keep cold. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper. Add cream and egg mixture to the flour. Stir just until combined.

On a well floured surface, knead the scone dough just until combined. Press dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into eight pieces with a sharp knife. Place on cookie sheet, if desired brush with additional cream and sprinkle scones with raw sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden around edges. Move to wire rack to cool

For the lemon curd: In a bowl set on a double boiler, beat yolks and sugar vigorously with a whisk until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick at first, just keep at it.) Add lemon juice and salt, whisk until smooth.

Bring the water in double boiler to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Do not allow water to touch the bottom of the metal bowl or top pan (insert) of the double boiler as this could scorch and possibly curdle the mixture. Cook whisking constantly until thickened, about 20 to 22 minutes. The mixture will change from translucent to an opaque light yellow color and will coat the back of a wooden spoon yet still be liquid enough to pour. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle.

Remove promptly from heat and immediately whisk in lemon zest to release oils. Add butter gradually, one piece at a time, whisking well to combine. Allow each addition of the butter to melt completely before adding more. If straining (this is optional to strain lemon zest and any coagulated egg) for a smooth curd, strain at once into a medium bowl and press strainer with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula until only the coarse residue remains. Discard residue.

Allow curd to cool; cover by placing a layer of plastic food wrap directly on top of the surface of the curd. The curd will continue to thicken further upon resting and chilling. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate.

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Lemon Curd Recipe: Wicked Good Kitchen

Homemade Drumsticks

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So much of my recipe inspiration comes from eating something I purchased from the store or a restaurant, but wanting to re-create it at home. Homemade is almost always better, and cheaper too!

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I don’t remember eating drumsticks often when I was younger, because I remember mom saying a box of them was expensive. She wasn’t wrong!

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I have fallen in love with homemade magic shell. Its so fast two make, and a million times cheaper to make than store bought. These cones come together in a snap, and are so versatile. Any ice cream flavor and any toppings will work, the sky is the limit! I used vanilla ice cream here with sprinkles, toffee bits and peanuts. I would love to hear what fun combos you come up with!

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Homemade Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 12 count box sugar cones
  • vanilla ice cream (or any flavor of your choosing)
  • Peanuts, sprinkles, toffee bits, etc.

Instructions

Melt together the chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe container until chocolate is melted. Stir well to be sure the chocolate and oil are well combined.

Pour about 1 teaspoon chocolate into the bottom of each ice cream cone. Top with ice cream. I prefer to place into the freezer at this point to harden ice cream. If you do this, you may need to microwave the chocolate shell for a few seconds before dipping cones. Dip ice cream cone into chocolate and immediately sprinkle with desired toppings. Chocolate will harden almost immediately.

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Crab Dip

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It has been mentioned to me that I don’t have as many savory or main dish recipes on my blog as I do sweets. I don’t disagree with that statement, but this is my blog, and everything on this site are recipes that I love and, well, I think this also proves that I am definitely a sweets kinda girl!

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That being said, I know that a girl can’t live on dessert alone. That’s why there is dip! I can easily make a meal out of dips, whether they be with chips, bread or crackers.

This crab dip is one that I have been making for years, but never took the time to sit and write the recipe. Most of the time I don’t measure when I cook, only when I bake.  I was craving the dip the other day and I knew it was time that I write that recipe down and share it with you all!

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Imitation crab, cream cheese, lots of shredded cheddar and green onions come together to create a dip that is perfect with crackers and extremely hard to back away from! I love it with butter crackers, but a girlfriend pointed out that it would make a fantastic crab melt. I better make another batch and give that a try!

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Crab Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese (low fat is fine)
  • 2 sliced green onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 12 ounces imitation crab meat, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons prepared ranch dressing

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. I prefer to use my stand mixer, I like how it incorporates all the ingredients and breaks down the crab.

Allow to chill for an hour. Dip gets better as time goes on and the flavors blend. Serve with crackers.

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German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

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Being single and living alone (at least when the kids are with Dad) had created some “single person behaviors” in me. The least embarrassing one I am willing to admit? I only eat ice cream straight from the carton when I am alone. Call me crazy, but I swear that it tastes better that way. And while I’m at it, I might also eat it for dinner. What?? I’m an adult, I can do what I want!

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 This ice cream is nothing short of amazing. No churn chocolate ice cream, brownie pieces- box mix is just fine here!- and coconut pecan frosting. I am not a cake person, so to me this combo blows german chocolate cake right out of the water!

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I am obsessed with no churn ice cream. I love the ease and not having to cook anything. Just two steps and done!

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German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Frosting
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped brownie pieces

Instructions

In a large bowl combine your condensed milk and your vanilla extract.

Whip your heavy cream and cocoa powder in a large bowl until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes on high.

Fold your whipped cream into your sweetened condensed milk.

For the frosting: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cream, egg yolk, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly as the butter melts. Once boiling, cook another 3-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir in pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, refrigerate in an airtight container then microwave in 5-10 second intervals or until spreadable.

Pour half of your ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Layer in half the brownie pieces and swirl in half the frosting. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Freeze 4 hours.

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Coconut, Chocolate and Almond Popsicle

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How is summer treating you so far? Is it hot enough for you yet? If you are looking for a way to cool down, I have the recipe for you! But not just one recipe- a whole weeks worth. That’s right, its Popsicle Week! I am so excited to be participating in Popsicle Week 2016. I first heard about it last year, and knew I needed to participate!

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This recipe comes together in your blender, and is creamy, crunchy and smothered in chocolate. My kinda popsicle!

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Coconut milk, a little cream, sweetened condensed milk and Greek yogurt blended with coconut creates the perfect creamy pop with just the right amount of coconut flavor. Insanely easy homemade “magic shell” comes together in an instant, and almonds with extra coconut creates a texture lovers dream.

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Coconut, Chocolate and Almond Popsicle

Ingredients

  • 1 (13.5 oz can) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • Magic Shell
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Instructions

Combine the coconut milk, shredded coconut, condensed milk, heavy cream and Greek yogurt in a blender and blend until all the ingredients are mixed. Pour the mixture evenly into each Popsicle mold. Freeze the Popsicle for 2 hours or until they are semi firm and insert wooden sticks in the center (unless using the sticks provided with your mold). Continue to freeze for at least an additional 4 hours (overnight is best).

To remove from mold, run the base of the mold under warm water.

To make magic shell, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe container. Dip Popsicle in chocolate, and immediately in coconut and almonds.

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COCONUTPIC