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BLOG UNDER CONSTRUCTION

WELCOME to my blog… under construction. PLEASE NOTE if you are visiting for the first time or a long time fan, all my LINKS from Pinterest and just if you saved a favorite recipe, all links are broken. Most likely if you clicked on a saved link from somewhere it says “that page cannot be found”, but Do NOT worry, the recipe is STILL HERE, just lost in internet space. This happened when I had an error on my blog and someone tried to help me and basically destroyed my entire blog in the process.

THERE IS HOPE. Example: If you look at the URL of the link (recipe) you are trying to find, note the original post date, IE: 9/2012, just look in the original URL for month/year and then you can click on the ARCHIVE below under 2012 / September and then click the recipe name.

I am in the process of trying to fix my blog, but links cannot be restored, so basically my 4+ years of blogging is wasted and I am re-building from scratch. AHHHHH, okay! So…. HERE WE GO….

Monday, April 30, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #79 (MEXICAN DISHES) and White Chicken (or Turkey) Enchiladas

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #79
(MEXICAN DISHES - Cinco de Mayo)
White Chicken (or Turkey) Enchiladas

I saw this recipe sweep the Pinterest boards over and over and over again. I thought, there must be something to this recipe so I had to see for myself. And well, I've made it twice now in one month. Once with chicken and once with turkey, it is THAT GOOD!

My kids don't really go for enchiladas (they don't like red enchilada sauce), so this recipe is great for my family. This recipe will for sure be hitting my dinner table often.


I used two different type of tortillas (one gluten-free for my daughter)!
White Chicken (or Turkey) Enchiladas
originally found at Joyful Momma's Kitchen

10 flour tortilla
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or turkey)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth with turkey meat)
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.

In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

Bake 22 minutes and then under high broil for 3 more minutes to brown the cheese.


This week's theme is: MEXICAN DISHES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

If you are a regular to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky party, then link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new, please just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!



Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
May 7 - Mother's Day Brunch or MOMS Favorite Food

May 14 - Egg Recipes (Casseroles, Dishes & Appetizers)

May 21 - Memorial Day BBQ (BBQ Sauce & Grill Recipes)

May 28 - Share your favorite Cheeseburger Recipe

Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below. 
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: MEXICAN DISHES
Please only link recipes with our theme!


This week's theme is: MEXICAN DISHES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Freezer Ready - Smoothies "in a bag"

I just got a Magic Bullet and I LOVE IT! We are continuing on our health kick and we started having smoothies a few nights a week in place of a big heavy dinner. My girls were told to switch their big meal to lunch time and a smaller meal at dinner time, believe it or not this totally works. (One of my daughter's has lost 5 lbs already, basically doing nothing else except changing these two meals around). I've joined them on this health-kick and mama is LOVIN' it too, no big dinner to prepare and a healthy smoothie to enjoy, heaven!

I saw this great idea on Pinterest, of course, this is where I get all my genius ideas. The idea was to freeze yogurt in muffin tins, and I had some yogurt that was just about to expire and way more then we could eat in a few days. Perfect!


Then it was time to get all the fresh fruits and vegetables I had in the refrigerator and put them to work for us (plus I pulled out all those frozen bananas that had been hangin' around the freezer). Do you do that too? When the last banana is just sitting on the counter and no one wants to eat it, I chop it up, throw it in a baggie and into the freezer it goes until I am ready to make a smoothie.


I packaged up a bunch of different smoothie recipes, a few are listed below. We added in everything we had on hand. Some got fresh pineapple, fresh berries chopped almonds, fresh mint and some fresh spinach too. Everything froze nicely. When it was time for a smoothie you just bring out the baggie, let it defrost for about 10 minutes or throw it in the microwave for a minute if you are in a big hurry. Everything is in the bag, the only thing you may need to add is ice, juice or milk.


Pomegranate-Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup pomegranate juice (can be added fresh)
2 tsp honey
3/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup Spinach
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 cup crushed ice (add when ready to blend)

Berry Smoothie
1 cup milk (this should be added fresh, not into the freezer bag)
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (or blackberries or strawberries or all the berries mixed)
1/3 cup diced pineapple (fresh or can)
1-1/2 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Spinach
1 tbsp Chia Seeds

Banana Berry
3/4 cup apple juice
2/3 cup blueberries
1 banana, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup crushed ice

Orange Smoothie
1-1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2/3 cup strawberries
1 banana, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup Spinach
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1 cup crushed ice

White  Gummi Bear Smoothie (copy-cat recipe Jamba Juice)
8 oz peach juice
4 oz soy milk
1/2 cup pineapple sherbet
1/4 cup raspberry sherbet
1/4 cup orange sherbet
1/2 cup mangoes
1/2 cup crushed ice

Lime Smoothie
1 cup limeade concentrate
1 cup mangoes
1/2 cup strawberries
1 cup lemon lime sherbet
1/4 cup Spinach
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/2 cup crushed ice

Friday, April 27, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies with Chocolate Chips

We are still off on vacation in Orlando, Florida and today my twins dance team will perform at the 2012 Dance Worlds Competition at Epcot. Please say a little prayer for their team to do their personal best, that's all we can ask for!!!

I know you will all enjoy these delicious cookie recipe (I am probably wishing I had some homemade cookies right about now... 3 days away from my kitchen at home... oh no!)  I love just whipping up a batch of fresh cookies (plus we like to freeze extras for later too!). These are not what you expect, they are such a good Chocolate Chip Cookie, they are light and airy and taste fantastic. I still have a few of these left in the freezer, which would be wonderful to eat right about now as I am writing this post.

Who would of thought to add a little bit of Potato Chip Crunch to Chocolate Chip Cookies; Genius! Just Genius! I am telling you, that YOU MUST, trust me, you MUST make these. You will be pleasantly surprised. DE-LI-CIOUS!!!


Potato Chip Cookies with Chocolate Chips
found at Buttercream Barbie, original recipe from Country Living "Iowa State Fair Cookbook"

3/4 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups crushed plain potato chips
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Beat the butter and sugars together, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Gently stir in the potato chips and chocolate chips.

Drop the cookie dough using a cookie scooper or by the tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets (these cookies do spread). Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

We are OFF!! Dancing - Vacationing - College Stuff & More!!! We leave California today for an 8 day whirl-wind trip. We are ALL so excited! My husband will be joining us, YAHOOOO! (he works a lot, so this is very exciting, especially for my little guy who will be celebrating his 13th birthday on this trip), also my parents will be coming along. My twins will be dancing at the 2012 Dance Worlds Competition in Orlando, Florida at Epcot. My parents, husband and son will be making their way around Walt Disney World visiting the parks, the last time my son was there he was about 2 years old.

This will be my girls last year competing at Dance Worlds and so we are staying a few extra days for them to be able to enjoy all the Disney parks, we've been three years in a row and it's DANCE-DANCE-DANCE (which don't get me wrong, they LOVE that too), but since this is our last year, it's time to PLAY. This is kind'of a family vacation for us. Then it's off to visit my girls college. It's going to be an amazing trip.


My girls at Dance Worlds (2009)!

In the mean time, I have lots of recipes saved up to share with you while I am away.
This first one is SO easy and SO delicious. I know I will be making these again very soon.



Buffalo Chicken Rolls
adapted by me, from Tracey's Culinary Adventures, originally from Can you stay for dinner?

3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (about 2 cups)
1 cup hot sauce
12 egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
water
nonstick cooking spray
ranch dressing, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 F. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray.

Stir the chicken and hot sauce together in a medium bowl until moistened - you can use more or less sauce depending on how spicy you want your rolls.

Place one egg roll wrapper on a clean work surface. Add about 1 tablespoon of the celery on the diagonal of the bottom right corner. Top with about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken. Be careful not to overfill the wrappers.

To fold the roll: Bring the bottom right corner up and over the filling to cover it completely and make it snug. Fold each side over to form an envelope, then roll the wrap almost all the way to the top. Wet your finger with water and moisten the top corner, then fold it over the roll, pressing to seal. Place the roll on the prepared rack.

Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (flipping the rolls halfway through), or until the rolls are golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve with ranch dressing.

NOTE: I also decided to fry half of this batch, just because. I was worried that they wouldn't be as good baked instead of fried. Well, I can tell you WRONG - WRONG - WRONG I didn't tell anyone and set both kinds out on the try and then asked my girls which ones they liked better. BAKED won! SO, happy I tried the experiment and SO, glad the baked won over fried.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trail Mix Cookies: SECRET RECIPE CLUB

SECRET RECIPE CLUB
Trail Mix Cookies
It's time for the Secret Recipe Club; Group C! This is my 12th post for the Secret Recipe Club and I just love meeting new bloggers, making new things from other bloggers and enjoy everything this club have to offer.

Secret Recipe Club

When I am sent my blog assignment, I always jump right over and check it out. Of course, I start pinning everything I would LOVE to make. I saw SO many things on this lovely blog, I can't wait to start making all of these new recipes I came across. My secret blog this month is Wives with Knives, what a GREAT name for a blog. I loved it instantly.

I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to make out of the TWELEVE yes, I said tweleve recipes I wanted to make. So, I just pinned them all and waited for the right moment and that moment arrived. I was headed to my brothers house and he txt me and said can you bake something for the nurses for his baby who was just born. I said of course and remembered this easy recipe I pinned from Wives with Knives called Mom's Trail Mix Cookies. And there you have it, my recipe was picked for me and I went to work baking.

Trail Mix Cookies
recipe adapted by me, found over at Wives with Knives

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (used chunky)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 trail mix (peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream together the butter and the peanut butter, beat in the sugar, a little at a time, and beat the mixture until it is combined well. Beat in the egg and vanilla, stir in flour and baking soda. Add trail mix and chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons for the batter 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.



Here is a list of my past Secret Recipe Club recipes:


THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #78 (PICNIC RECIPES) and Ramen Noodle Coleslaw

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #78
(PICNIC RECIPES)
Ramen Noodle Coleslaw
This is what you do when you have some left over coleslaw and some Ramen noodles in the cupboard and no one is eating either one of them, create something new and different that is enjoyed by all. This is a great little salad that would be perfect for any picnic, backyard party or potluck.


FREEZER TIP:  This was a GREAT idea, created way long ago. I freeze anything and everything I can. Green Onions are one of those items we don't eat often and only need when a recipe calls for it. Green Onions are cheap, but who wants to run to the store every time you need a handful. This is why I LOVE this freezer tip. Wash and cut the entire bundle of green onions, lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freezer for a few hours (or overnight). Then when they are completely frozen get an empty water bottle and store them in that until needed. When a recipe calls for some green onions you just pour out what is needed and keep the rest frozen.


Ramen Noodle Coleslaw
adapted by me, found at Green Acres Hobby Farm

1 pack slaw
green onions finely chopped (approx 1/4 cup or less)
1 pack ramen noodles (chicken flavor) broken into small pieces
3/4 cup oil
1 tbsp pepper
2 to 4 slices of crumbed fresh bacon
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1 of the chicken pack flavorings in ramen noodle package
1/2 cup toasted seeds (sunflower or almonds)

This recipe is best when it's made the night before, this allows the Ramen Noodles to get soft and all of the flavors to mix together. Toss all of the ingredients together, except for the toasted seeds and chill overnight, add the seeds right before serving. 


This week's theme is: PICNIC RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!
If you are a regular to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky party, then link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new, please just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!



Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
April 23 - Picnic Recipes
April 30 - Mexican Dishes for Cinco de Mayo

May 7 - Mother's Day Brunch or MOM's Favorite Food

May 14 - Egg Recipes
Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below. 
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: PICNIC RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!



This week's theme is: PICNIC RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Potatoes Au Gratin (Crock-Pot)

Okay here is my blogger confession. "I am not good at getting an entire meal on the table". This is something I want to work on this year. I figure after my twins leave for college and it's just my little guy and I (oh and my husband too on the rare occational day he is not working), my plan is too work on a "WHOLE" meal. Or at least get better at it. I can cook like no other, I can bake like no other. There isn't a week or month that goes by that my family doesn't enjoy homemade muffins, fresh hot chocolate chip cookies, a full Turkey or Ham cooked to perfection or an awesome salad and side dish (like this scrumptious meal below). But, try and get me to cook them ALL together! HUH! That rarely happens, maybe on Thanksgiving but not on a regular week night. So, I am sad to confess ya know what we had for dinner the night I made this OH-SO-DELICIOUS Potatoes Au Gratin in the crock-pot? Potatoes! Yep, that's all we had, a bowl full of Potatoes Au Gratin. :-) Okay, so I am working on this skill for SURE!!!


Potatoes Au Gratin (in Crock-Pot)
adapted by me, recipe found at Farm Bell Recipes

6 medium potatoes
8 oz cheese, shredded
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
chopped garlic or minced garlic
Kosher Salt, Garlic Salt and Lawry's Salt

Wash, peel, and slice your potatoes. You want them about a medium thickness. Grease your slow cooker. I used 2 tbsp of extra butter, but pan spray would work just fine.

Add one layer of potatoes and salt them. I alternate with Kosher Salt, Garlic Salt and Layry's Salt, but do not skimp on the salt or your potatoes will be bland.

Continue layering and salting until you have used all the potato slices.

Next melt 3 tbsp of butter in a small sauce pan, add the flour and whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble up, then cook for 2 minutes whisking constantly. Slowly pour in the milk and the 2 tbsp of chopped garlic and whisk until thickened.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.

Pour the cheese mixture over top the potatoes. Don’t stir the potatoes, but give them a jiggle to get some of the sauce down into the bottom of the pot. Place 2 paper towels across the top of the slow cooker and put on the top. Turn the pot on high and cook for about 2 to 3 hours. Or if you'd like cook on high for 1 hour and then low for about 3 to 4 hours. Each crock-pot cooks differently.



Friday, April 20, 2012

The LITTLE BOYS Birthday!!! & Chocolate Chip Brownie Cups


Okay, today is the day! My LITTLE BOY is 13 years old! OH MY! Officially a teenager.

I can hardly believe that my baby is growing up. He is such a quiet little guy. He loves to golf and play on his Ipad/Ipod or any video game that is near by. He is a great student and is on track for the A/B Honor-Roll this semester. This past year he has made tremendous leaps and bounds as a golfer. He just LOVES the sport. You can often find him on the golf course a few days a week. 





He elected to receive an Ipad this year for his birthday and for-go a birthday party. This shows maturity right there, but he is also getting to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida because his sisters are going their dance and well he gets to come along and enjoy 5 days of the Walt Disney Parks, 1 Water Park and oh yea, a day of golf. I would say that pretty much is an AWESOME 13th birthday party.

But before we head off onto this awesome get-a-way. The grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a few family members are stopping by for dinner and dessert. He choose G'ma's Spaghetti and Olive Garden (copycat) Alfredo Sauce and some Brownies for dessert.


This is what two boys do in the kitchen at 11pm (on a school night);
making Chocolate Chip Brownies with my "extra" kid Adam.


Chocolate Chip Brownie Cups
adapted by me, brownie recipe found at Somthings Swanky from a Guest Blogger

1 cup butter, melted
3 cups white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Fold in the flour mixture until the ingredients are just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

To make Regular Brownies: Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes back mostly clean (brownies should be very moist).

To make Brownie Cups: Spray heavily a muffin tin and then place one scoop into each muffin tin. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (they cook way fast in the muffin tins) and then as soon as you pull out, you neen to indent the middle of the brownie. You can use a scoop, or a spoon or Pamered Chef sells and awesome tart tool that we use. Then fill them up.

We filled the brownie cups with a tablespoon of peanut butter or nutella and sprinkled with a few more chocolate chips.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

This bark was SO GOOD, like super duper delish. (A little secret, I don't like bark)! I don't know why, I make it and make it over and over again and it's just not my favorite. BUT, this bark WOW-WOW-WOW! I love it, love it. It's so good, I think the combo of white chocolate and milk chocolate is a good thing and the crunch of the chocolate chips and cookies, YUM! Okay, so for now on. I will be making this bark... over and over again!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
adapted by me, original recipe found at Cookies and Cups

1 lb milk chocolate melting chocolate
1 lb white chocolate melting chips
2 cups chopped Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 or more tbsp mini chocolate chips

Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave for 40 second intervals to make sure that it's melted and does not burn. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour melted milk chocolate onto prepared pan and spread. Let set at rom temperature. It's best not to put this into the freezer as the chocolate tends to not stick together as well and when you break up the bark the white and milk chocolate will separate. Just let it sit out, on a warm day it should set in les then an hour. If you must do this quicker, then put into the refrigerator for like 20 minutes, NOT the freezer.

While you wait for the chocolate to set, coarselt chop the chocolate chip cookies. I like using homemade cookies, but if you must, store bought cookies will work too.

When ready, melt the white chocolate in the microwave. When the white chocolate is fully melted pour the white over the milk chocolate and spread evenly. Immediately sprinkle your chopped cookies over the white chocolate and the sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Let set-up to room temperature, this will give you the best results. When fully harden break into pieces and it's ready to eat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

My daughters' Senior Photos have been taken, invitations/announcements have been ordered and party planning has begun! Okay, this IS so real! I will have two kids graduating VERY SOON! The big question everyone seems to be asking me is "Are you sad?" and believe it or not, I am NOT SAD! I am happy, excited, overjoyed and thrilled. I am so excited for this next chapter in their lives and I know they are too. God has great things in store for them and I can't wait to get them started already. 25 more schools days.... HURRY UP ALREADY!!!

Photos Taken By: Nikki Bacon Photography

This chicken was so easy to make. It was quick to put together, quick to cook and very quick to eat. We all enjoyed it very much! What I am MOST worried about when my twins leave is, that I will have no one to cook for anymore. My husband works too much and my little guy only wants noodles with butter. What is a blogger to do?


Parmesan Crusted Chicken
recipe from Best Foods Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or use chicken tenderloins, you can buy at Costco)
4 tsp Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
add in a dash of red pepper or fresh pepper into bread crumbs (if desired)

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine real mayonnaise with parmesan cheese in medium bowl. I try and dip chicken into mayo/cheese mixture and then dip into the bread crumbs. After, arrange chicken on baking sheet and I add more of the may/cheese mixture to the top of the chicken and then sprinkle the rest of the bread crumbs on top. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Monday, April 16, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #77 (COPYCAT RECIPES) and Panera Bread's Stove Top Mac and Cheese

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #77
(COPYCAT RECIPES)
Panera Bread's Stove Top Mac and Cheese
My daughter has always LOVED Panera Bread, so when she landed her first job at Panera Bread, she was in heaven (yes, same daughter who loves to make sandwiches). She equally loves PB Mac & Cheese and what do ya know they even post the recipe for their amazing Mac & Cheese, the story is unbelievable, how one chef went all around the world to taste different mac & cheese recipes to come up with this amazing taste and flavor. This is my daughter's favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. If you love mac and cheese, I encourage you to try this.



The world didn’t need another mediocre macaroni and cheese. So Dan Kish, Panera Bread® head chef and former associate dean at The Culinary Institute of America, embarked on what became a three-year quest to create the ultimate version. While traveling across the country, he sampled about 150 versions of this classic American comfort food and tested 30 different recipes, primarily in his kitchen at home. “It’s almost embarrassing how much effort went into this single product,” he jokes, “and for a while I had the waistline to prove it.”

Kish sampled the dish at mom-and-pop diners, church potluck suppers, Texas steak houses, and even gourmet New York City restaurants. One of his most memorable experiences was at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese at Pike Place Market in Seattle. “They make their macaroni and cheese out of curd, and it was great,” he says. “It was inspiring in terms of achieving a very melted yet sharp taste.”

Kish’s final creation (see recipe the below or sample it any Panera Bread bakery-cafe) actually turned out to be pretty simple. It’s made from a blend of white Vermont cheddar and white American cheeses, plus a little cream and butter. The Vermont cheddar delivers the tang, while the white American supplies the wonderful consistency. Also key is the rigati pasta that Kish selected. It resembles a miniature snail shell, having one end that’s open, another that’s pinched close, and tiny ridges across its surface. This serves to nestle the cheese sauce in every nook and cranny.



Panera Bread's Stove Top Mac and Cheese
found st Smells Like Home, originally from Panera Bread

16 oz pasta shells
4 tbsp butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups milk or heavy cream
4 oz white American cheese, chopped or torn into pieces
8 oz extra sharp white Vermont cheddar, shredded
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Frank's hot sauce 

In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, whisk in the flour; cook for 1-1/2 minutes whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes.

Remove sauce pan from the heat and by the handful, stir in the cheeses allowing all of the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding more. Stir in the mustard, salt, and hot sauce. Return the sauce pan to the heat and stir in the pasta. Be sure to stir up the sauce from the bottom of the sauce pan and thoroughly coat all of the pasta with sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through. 


This week's theme is: COPYCAT RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

If you are a regular to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky party, then link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new, please just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!



Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
April 23 - Picnic Recipes
April 30 - Mexican Dishes for Cinco de Mayo

May 7 - Mother's Day Brunch or MOMS Favorite Foods

May 14 - Egg Recipes
Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below. 
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: COPYCAT RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!



This week's theme is: COPYCAT RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE RECIPE: Blueberry Muffin

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I LOVE me a fresh Blueberry Muffin (I can't wait to bite into the muffins I froze for later). YUM! We had 96 bloggers participate. Our BIGGEST challenge ever! Thank You, Thank You to all who participated (and to all who voted, clicked and visited all the recipes posted).

I am excited today to annouce the winner, voted on by you the readers and bloggers. This is our eighth month of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE; and it just keeps getting better and better! If you missed the post or if you are new here make sure you go back and check them out... we have 96 WONDERFUL Fresh Blueberry Muffin Recipes from the challenge last week!

The Ultimate recipe is chosen from the blog that received the most traffic/most clicks from the linky party. Did you know that our little challenge received over 29,000 hits in one week? That's wonderful and many bloggers who participate say that their challenge recipes are there most popular posts. If you want more details about this challenge or joining this challenge for next month read all about it here. Next month we will be baking and blogging about the ULTIMATE GRILL CHEESE SANDWICH. Please come join us!

Now, let's announce the April WINNER of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE.

The Ultimate BLUEBERRY MUFFIN Recipe

Yes, it was ME! It was my recipe that received the most clicks. In eight months of this challenge - this has only happened TWICE! So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU again! I am honored! But, I didn't want to just highlight my own recipe and the second place was SO close only 3 clicks behind my recipe which is a wonderful recipe (THAT I MUST TRY) from A Nest in the Rocks.


Thank you, A Nest in the Rocks for finding this recipe over at A Cook's Quest and to MOMS CRAZY COOKING for finding the recipe over at Healthy Food for a Living. We'd like to thank you for sharing your recipe with the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE. You deserve a big round of applause and you are entitled to the ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE BUTTON, please feel free to grab it below if you wish and post it proudly on your blog.

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Also a BIG THANK YOU to the bloggers who participated in the challenge!
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