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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

July 31, 2010

Restaurant Review : Wild Mike's on Harrison

MMM. I have always been a lover of wings. But to find great wings is a task. I grew up on Buffalo Wings and Rings wings, and TGI Friday frozen wings in a box. Well done. I don't like slimy skin on my wings, I want it to be crispy! That's why I thoroughly enjoy Wild Mike'sB-dubs. They are also big and meaty. Take a look for yourself. wings. They are crispy but not too overdone, and the skin isn't slimy like that of

These here are the Garlic Buffalo medium wings. Look at that sauce, waiting to be dipped in.

My fiancee got the Mike's Mix medium, which is a mix of all of the sauces: Original Buffalo, Garlic Buffalo, Kansas City BBQ, and Ginger Teriyaki. All of them mixed together really is an amazing sauce. Just think, a BBQ sauce with a hint of teriyaki, garlic, and buffalo sauce.

After you pick your flavor, you pick your temperature. We always get medium, it's just right. Not too spicy and not too mild.

It is also hard for me to find good potato skins. And these are indeed good. They are crispy and not undercooked. And they put ample bacon and cheese on them. They come with a side of sour cream for dipping. I really enjoy these.

And my fiance gets the loaded baked potato, which I occasionally venture out and order. Again, it is a basic delicious loaded potato. The downfall is that nearly everytime we call at dinner time, they are all out of the baked potatoes. My fiancee and I wonder how you run out of something at a restaurant. He works for a catering company, so that makes sense to me that they could run out of food because it's based on how much food the client orders for that party. And if they don't order enough food, then obviously the result is to run out. But how does a restaurant run out of baked potatoes? Like on a regular basis? Wouldn't you just make sure you have more baked potato stock? It's a pet peeve of mine, because it happens regularly. I could see it happening a couple of times, and them on a trial and error basis realizing that they need to buy more. But it isn't sinking in apparently, because we eat out here ALOT. And they run out of baked potatoes probably 75% of the time. But I'm getting side-tracked. Here is the loaded baked potato...

Get on in here to Wild Mike's. We keep going back. And like I said, good wings are hard to come by. And Mike (or the cooks, at least) keeps 'em coming.

Wild Mike's on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review : Chipotle in Western Hills

Does anyone not like Chipotle? I can't think of anyone. The burrito, I admit, is too much food for me to eat in one sitting. So I have grown to love the bowl option. I always get the chicken bowl with rice, corn salsa, light green medium salsa, sour cream, and cheese. Sometimes, depending on how I am feeling, I switch up between brown and black beans. I also add peppers and onions sometimes. And many times they are stingy with the sour cream and cheese so I ask for extra.

I haven't always been a fan of tortilla chips. I know, I'm crazy. But these chips are so good dipped in their guacamole. It is a good flavor, with diced onions and seasoned well. Yes, it is expensive. But I love it so much. Probably more than the bowl. I think it may be because I used to think I didn't like guacamole. It seemed like some stinky, yucky, green puke-like concoction. But I have converted, and am a guacamole lover.

I love you, Chipotle. Burrito Joes just doesn't compare. I'm on a mission to find something that does. Because I haven't always been a Mexican food fan, until I found you, Chipotle. And now I am hooked. Others may let me down, but you always aim to please.

Chipotle on Urbanspoon

July 30, 2010

Ranch Oven-Fried Chicken with Warm Corn Relish

This is so simple, even a child could do it. Probably. Betty Crocker makes things easy with Bisquick mix. I was a little disappointed because what they call "Warm Corn Relish" is really just frozen corn from a bag, with nothing extra. Nothing to make it relish. It wasn't bad though. It was just very elementary.

Ranch Oven-Fried Chicken with Warm Corn Relish from Betty Crocker website
(Modified by me)

Makes: 2 Servings

1/4 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup three cheese Ranch dressing
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter, melted
24-oz. family size frozen Green Giant Niblets Corn and Butter

1. Heat oven to 425*F.
2. In a shallow dish, mix Bisquick mix and pepper. Pour dressing into another shallow dish. Coat chicken with dressing, then coat with Bisquick mixture, pressing so coating sticks to chicken. Place on pan. Drizzle with butter.

3. Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.

4. Meanwhile, cook corn as directed on bag; drain. Serve over chicken.

Betty Crocker calls for reduced-fat ranch dressing, whereas I just use the regular fatty kind :) I also halved the serving size. I used a slightly different kind of corn. And I am just now realizing that I did not mix some of the ranch dressing in the corn. That would have made it a little different from just the plain corn in the bag, obviously. That may have made the dish pop more. At first I thought I may not make it again, but now I think I may. Just so I can try the corn "relish" with ranch mixed in. Can't hurt.

July 29, 2010

Restaurant Review : Cheesecake Factory at Kenwood Mall

I like cheese. I like cake. I like cheesecake. So therefore it only makes sense that I would like Cheesecake Factory! Duh! I have been here many times before my blogging days, but this was my first time there as a blogger :)  In the past, I have tried the filet mignon, the steak diane, the chicken madeira, and more. All have been delish! This time I decided to try something different. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good decision.

Let me start out by saying that they have the BEST strawberry lemonade! I think it may have been the highlight of my meal. Actually I know that it was! It was pretty expensive, but I'll pay the price for a great drink and unlimited refills. Check out the sugar-rim on that thing! 

Now on to the less exciting part of the meal... I decided to try the stuffed mushroom small plate, which were stuffed with cheese, garlic, herbs, and wine sauce. Now, I LOVE mushrooms, and these were nothing to rave about. They were pretty small, and they didn't have a great taste to them. I guess I wanted a little more to the stuffing, maybe a sausage or crab. It only had cheese and there was just something missing. It really came with 6 mushrooms, but as you can see, I couldn't resist and ate one before I remembered to take the picture lol!
For my main course, I had one of the specials - Chicken Di Pana. It was very reasonably priced and sounded delicious, lightly breaded chicken breasts covered in a white wine butter sauce with mashed potatoes and broccoli. The sad thing is that it was not very good. The idea and the recipe itself would be divine, but the way this meal was prepared made it not very appealing. The chicken had alot of bloody, fatty parts and since it is very thinly cut, it seemed like there wasn't any meat. There wasn't really a chickeny taste. The sauce was good and made the chicken tolerable. I guess I get what I pay for?
They have a nice outdoor dining section for people who like to eat outdoors in the roaring heat lol! Not me, I need AC  :)  

I probably wouldn't order the Chicken Di Pana again. But they do have what seems like a zillion menu items to choose from, so I KNOW I will be back, trying something else. And probably bouncing back to my trusty filet, steak diane and chicken madeira. But I do love the Cheesecake Factory. But it's sad that of all the times I have been there, I have not had the Cheesecake. Those extra large plates they serve their entrees on sure do hold massive amounts of food, and I am always too stuffed for a dessert! But I can always (well, usually) count on the Cheesecake Factory.

Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review : Habits Cafe - Home of the Ostrich!

'Twas my second visit to Habits Cafe in Oakley. I had been there before for a get-together with a gal pal of mine who I hadn't seen in years! Her boyfriend worked there, it was a convenient place to meet, and I had heard good things about an ostrich burger from my co-worker. So I really wanted to try it! The first time, I ordered the ostrich burger godzilla style, with a side of mac and cheese. The ostrich meat itself was a little pink, and I wasn't incredibly impressed by the taste of it. I guess I was expecting some miraculous flavorful meat that tasted like it had been made from the hands of God or something. But it wasn't all that. I think the toppings is what made the burger for me. Godzilla style features a pepperjack cheese, spicy onion straws, and jalapeno mayo. I feel as though if I made ANY burger godzilla style, it would be good. Even like the lowest grade White Castle burger meat would be good godzilla style! I wasn't very impressed by the mac n cheese, I must say.

So while I was out shopping for work in the Oakley area, I knew I had to stop somewhere for lunch, and since I' m always thinking on my blogging toes, I wanted to pick a place that I could blog about! So I made my way down Madison, not knowing if I was going the right way or not, but I was on a mission to get to Habits! The first time I went, I had exact directions, but this time I was guessing. I was so glad when I found it! There it is, good ole' Habits!

I was even more glad when I walked in and saw NO ONE! Only the bartender and server. This made me happy because my lunch breaks are limited and I was worried it would take too long. Apparently, since Habits is like a bar slash restaurant, it is dead during lunch time, at least when I went.

So I was happy to get in and out. I came back for that ostrich burger. I wanted to critique it for the second time to see if maybe I was just a little off that first time I visited. I wanted to love the ostrich! But again, I didn't.  :(   The meat seemed a little grainy and had little hard white pieces in it that I had to keep picking out of each bite. But godzilla saved the meal. I found myself picking off the onion straws and dipping them in the jalapeno mayo.


This time I got the sweet potato fries instead of that bland mac and cheese. They were good, but I wasn't a fan of the dipping sauce. So next time if I go back, I want to try a different kind of burger godzille style, not ostrich, ... or maybe I will even venture out to a different style, or maybe not even a burger!

There IS ALOT of construction going on around Habits right now, and since the first time I went a couple of months back. This is what I saw as soon as I stepped out of the restaurant...

and to my right...

There isn't really a parking lot for Habits, but there is street parking at a meter, or you can just park at CVS like I did and walk to it. For those of you who make Habits a habit, I want to understand why! I want to love the ostrich, but so far I'm not quite sure that I do....

I'll be back though! I won't give up hope!

Update - 9/3/11: I just went back here a couple of days ago to meet up with some grade school friends, and ordered just a regular cheeseburger instead of an ostrich burger, and ordered it godzilla style - like always. It was very good! I am so glad that I tried it, as the meat was delicious and the patty was handmade and not a frozen patty. That's always a plus :) Also had a Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat ($4), which I enjoyed.

Habit's Cafe on Urbanspoon

July 23, 2010

Herb-and-Cheese-Filled Chicken Thighs

So I wanted to get all fancy and try something that I usually would be too afraid to make. I figured any recipe I picked from Food and Wine would be more difficult than my usual, and I decided to make these Herb-and-Cheese-Filled Chicken Thighs. I did make some modifications like changing the serving size to 2 rather than 8.  The measurements are approximations. Here's how it's done:

Herb-and-Cheese-Filled Chicken Thighs from Mario Batali of Food and Wine 
(modified by me)  

3/8 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/8 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 small egg, lightly beaten
3/8 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/8 cup coarsely chopped basil
1/16 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
4 boneless chicken thighs with skin (about 5 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper 

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, combine the fresh bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, Provolone, chopped basil, chopped parsley, lemon zest and rosemary. Set the chicken thighs, skin side down, on a work surface and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mound 1/4 cup of the herb-and-cheese filling on each thigh. Fold the sides of the thighs over the filling to enclose it and tie each chicken thigh in 2 or 3 places with kitchen string. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

2. Arrange the stuffed chicken thighs on a large, rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then discard the strings and serve.

I made the mistake of getting bone-in chicken thighs, so I had to de-bone them (for the first time ever, I did a good job if I may say so myself!). I must admit, there was plenty of stuffing leftover. The lemon zest added a great flavor. While I thought it was pretty good, I won't deny that it maybe needed something else. My fiancee, who always wants bold flavors, didn't think this had much flavor. So maybe next time I will add more flavor somehow. And definitely get the boneless thighs to save me a step.

Here is the finished result...

And there I am, ready to eat the plate (and serve it to PJ!)

Mushroom and Onion Grilled Cheese

This is a very simple recipe for a kicked-up adult-style grilled cheese. I mean, who doesn't love grilled cheese? Even adults do! But I have found myself wanting a little something more than just bread and cheese, so I decided to add two things I love - mushrooms and onions! 

Now, there isn't really a set recipe for this, as I didn't measure anything. I sauteed some mushrooms and onions in a skillet in about 1 tablespoon of butter. In a separate skillet, I placed buttered slices of bread on the skillet to get a nice slightly-browned crust. Flip when browned. Once I flip the bread, this is when I add the pepperjack cheese (2 slices for each sandwich). Then I add the onions and mushrooms and flatten the bread like a panini. All done! So easy... and so delicious! Serve with tomato soup, of course! 

July 18, 2010

4th of July Trifle

I have always wanted to make holiday-based recipes, but sometimes have failed. But I knew I couldn't go wrong with a simple trifle recipe that didn't involve any cooking at all!

So I decided to try a recipe from Taste of Home called Trifle - it didn't have very many ingredients. And I decided to change them up a bit too based on what I had, that being strawberries, blueberries, cool whip, and angel food cake. This is what my Red, White, and Blue Trifle looked like.

I was only making enough for my intermediate family: my mama, my dad, my brother, his girlfriend, and me. So I didn't want to make too much. And then I made individual ones for PJ and I the next day.

I didn't use the cream cheese, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla or almond extract. So basically it sounds like I didn't make the recipe at all LOL! But I figured I could save myself a step by using cool whip instead of heavy whipping cream. I also added angel food cake.

So I first added some of the angel food cake, cut up in squares. Rinse your fruit of course. Then I added the cool whip, then the diced strawberries, and blueberries, then another layer of angel food cake, then cool whip, then strawberries sliced in half to make the stripes of the flag shape. Line them up to make the stripes. Then arrange the blueberries in the left corner of the flag. If you are making this recipe for more people, then you can add more layers. I was making it for a small crowd so I knew I didn't need alot of layers. It's simple and yummy!

Here is the original recipe....

Red, White and Blue Dessert (from the Taste of Home website)

 ***18 servings***
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened  
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 quarts strawberries, halved, divided
  • 2 quarts blueberries, divided           
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and extracts until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Place a third of the mixture in a 4-qt. bowl. Reserve 20 strawberry halves and 1/2 cup blueberries for garnish.
  • Layer half of the remaining strawberries and blueberries over cream mixture. Top with another third of the cream mixture and the remaining berries. Spread the remaining cream mixture on top. Use the reserved strawberries and blueberries to make a "flag" on top. Yield: 18 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 168 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein. 

July 16, 2010

Restaurant Review : Trotta's Pizza

It seems as though I may be in the minority, but I was not a big fan of Trotta's Pizza based on the one hoagy I had from there. It seems like I should have tried the pizza, which seems to be the rave around town. I tried the old fashioned pot roast hoagy, since the pot roast panini that I tried from Tazza Mia was delicious, and assumed I would like the one from Trotta's also. I was wrong.

In comparison to the delicious pot roast sandwich that I have had for lunch at Tazza Mia, which has juicy pot roast, roasted carrots, mushrooms, swiss cheese, and chipotle mayo on garlic panini bread, Trotta's hoagy features slow-baked pot roast in rich gravy with onion and provolone cheese.  I did not like the gravy; it reminded me of something from a school cafeteria lunch that I would bypass in a heartbeat. I also tried to order the jalapeno poppers but they said they didn't have them. Another disappointment.

Besides this, every time I have called them for a delivery order, they tell me they aren't delivering. I called once on a Saturday in the afternoon, and they said they don't deliver until 4 PM. Then I called at 9:25 PM one evening, and they said they stop delivering at 9:30 PM (which it wasn't yet). So my fiancee and I joke that if we want to order a delivery from Trotta's that we have to order it between, say, like 6:05 PM and 6:17 PM. No but really, their delivery hours are very limited so that is one downside.

So I finally got a chance to eat here, because I picked it up, and I was disappointed. Though I didn't particularly like what I got on my first visit, I am not opposed to trying it out again. Especially since I live right down the street. I guess I should try the Lotta Trotta at some point, since Trotta's IS the Home of the Lotta Trotta.

Trotta's Pizza & Drive Thru on Urbanspoon

July 13, 2010

Halloween in July? No.... I'm Just Late! - Part 2

I needed something simple to go along with those terrifying Strawberry Ghosts for my company Halloween party, and simple is what I found!

This recipe makes 24 servings and takes about 25 minutes total.


* 3 packages (8 ounces each) assorted lunch meats
* 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 12 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise


* Roll up each slice of lunch meat; spread a small amount of cream cheese at seam to secure roll. Insert a tomato half at one end of each roll to resemble a fingernail; secure the tomato in place with a small amount of cream cheese.
* Place seam side down on a platter. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 39 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 96 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.

Now these were more on my level! You can't really go wrong with salami roll-ups, stuffed with tomatoes, even if they don't really look like fingers. Here is how mine turned out!

Try these with some tasty Strawberry Ghosts and you're good to go! Remember, 'tis better to treat than trick!

Halloween in July? No.... I'm Just Late!

I started this blog just a few weeks ago. So obviously I haven't made any Halloween goodies recently, but I do have some pics stored on my computer from when I did make some treats for our company Halloween party in 2009 (which I must add, I won first prize for the best costume! I mean look at me, I'm soooo date-able!)

But on to what really matters... the FOOD!

I figured I couldn't go wrong with strawberries and chocolate, and it seemed pretty easy to make, so I decided to try this recipe.

Strawberry Ghosts (from Taste of Home website)

***Yields 30 servings
***Total Time: 30 minutes


* 30 fresh strawberries
* 8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
* 1 teaspoon shortening
* 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


* Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract.
* Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts' tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes.
* In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 strawberry equals 54 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 8 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Ok so does it say something about me if this recipe was NOT very easy for me to make?! My end result did not turn out nearly as pretty as the picture from Taste of Home. I had problems with the almond extract. Every time I added it in, the mixture would harden very quickly. I like the flavor that it added, but next time I may just eliminate the almond extract since it made it harden too much and made it nearly impossible to dip the strawberries into the chocolate with a smooth finish. I ended up having to spread the chocolate onto the strawberries with a butter knife. I don't know what it is about that almond extract!

So here are my strawberry ghosts. Remember people, I am a NEWBIE! Don't expect perfection from me, just heart and passion!  Check out how my Ghoulish Fingers turned out!

Urbanspoon Rocks

Urbanspoon Rocks

July 12, 2010

Restaurant Review : The Waffle House is not so Awful... House

I dined at the Covington Waffle House for lunch today. And damnit, I forgot to take pics! This is still new to me.... remembering to take pics of every restaurant meal I consume, and to take pics of every step of my cooking process... it gets hard to remember to do it all! So pardon my laziness, but this will be a review of Waffle House, without any pics :(

I LOVE LOVE LOVE their hashbrowns with mushrooms and cheese. My craving for those hashbrowns is what brought me to Waffle House today. Sure, the service isn't the best and the place itself isn't the cleanest (Oh how I try to overlook this part!). But sometimes you have to sacrifice such things for good, greasy food. So it only made sense for me to order my usual hashbrowns. I have wanted to try their omelets, so I ventured out and tried the cheesesteak omelet, with hashbrowns, and a biscuit. While the hashbrowns were delish (as usual!), I did not enjoy the omelet so much. There was just too much steak which overpowered the omelet, not to mention not the best grade of steak (duh, we're talking Waffle House here!). I did like how it looked though, very thick and very BIG and filling. This was wayyy too much food for me! The biscuits are ok, nothing special. I would be willing to try an omelet again, but their options are limited. They have a ham and cheese omelet, a plain cheese omelet, and I am not sure what other kinds but not many to choose from.

So the omelet was a miss, but my hashbrowns were just as tasty as I remembered.

Waffle House on Urbanspoon

My Mai Tai

Sometimes, we need a little alcohol in our lives! Ok ALOT of alcohol! Though Outback Steakhouse has gone downhill in my opinion (they no longer serve that spinach dip with honey-round toasts!), I have noticed that their Captain Mai Tai is quite delicious, and maybe reason enough to keep going back!

Since alcoholic bevs at restaurants can add up quickly and you can't really generate a buzz unless you plan on spending most of your paycheck there, I decided to investigate the web to find an identical recipe. I was lucky to find the recipe on Yahoo!Answers (someone else was looking for this recipe too, I see! LOL). The best answer given was from someone who got the recipe from their waiter at an actual Outback Steakhouse restaurant. Here is the recipe, according to this mystery Outback waiter....

Outback Steakhouse's Captain's Mai Tai
1 1/2 oz. Captain Morgans
1 oz. Orange Juice
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 Tsp. Crushed Pineapple

Put ingredients in a drink mixer and shake.

Put 3/4 - 1oz. Huckleberry Syrup into a glass, strain drink mixture into glass to leave out pineapple pieces.

I personally did not use crushed pineapples, only the pineapple juice. I also could not find any Huckleberry Syrup, and am not very sure what that even is! When I first tasted it, it tasted mainly like orange juice. So I started adding more pineapple juice and rum as needed. So basically I used my own measurements of rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice, and poured in a little juice from the maraschino cherry jar to give it that cool red and orange mix, and topped with some cherries. I must perfect this recipe, because mine didn't taste like the one from Outback. I have GOT to find that huckleberry syrup, hopefully that gives it the specialness of Outback's drink. But mine was still good :) Fill glass with ice if desired.

July 8, 2010

Cheese-Garlic Biscuits

I have been searching for a recipe to satisfy my need for some delish cheddar rolls that resemble the famous Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. And with the help of Better Crocker and Bisquick, I was able to satiate my desires with just a little bit of work and light ingredients. These simple but genius Cheese-Garlic Biscuits will definitely be a regular on my menu.

Here are all of the ingredients you need:

I halved all of the ingredients as to only make enough for 2 servings (approximately 4 biscuits). Then I put the Bisquick mix, milk, and cheese in a bowl and mixed together...

Then I put the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined pan by the spoonful and baked for about 9 minutes...

and VOILA! They are done in a matter of minutes!

Next time I may try a little less time because the cheese was a little crusty in certain parts, but still so good. This is not a complaint, I am just going to try it a little different next time to see if it can be EVEN BETTER! I do think they need more butter in order to taste more like the ones from Red Lobster, which seem like they are soaked in butter! So next time I will add more butter and cook them a little less. They also would be tasty cut in half and used for breakfast sandwiches. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

I served them with corn and Southwestern Chicken Tacos for a yummy meal!

The recipe was pretty much great... and here it is from Betty Crocker to me to you :)

Cheese-Garlic Biscuits (from Betty Crocker website)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 9 biscuits

2 cups Original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Heat oven to 450*F.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, and cheese until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 9 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir together butter and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits.

1 Serving: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 70 ); Total Fat 8 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 460 mg; Total Carbohydrate 17 g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 4 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4 %; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 10 %; Iron 4 % Exchanges: 1 Starch; 2 Fat
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Southwestern Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups *Turned Tacos*

A couple of days ago, I wanted to try a new recipe called Southwestern Cheese-Stuffed Rolls-Ups from the Pillsbury website.

These are all of the ingredients you need:

I thought I had all of the right ingredients, but when I went to start the chicken, I noticed that I had purchased small thin chicken tenderloins, which were NOT going to be big enough to fill with all of the ingredients. When I bought them in the package, it seemed like a good idea because they were thin and I thought they would be great for stuffing. They were just too small to wrap around. So.... after being somewhat disappointed and thinking I couldn't make the recipe at all now, I decided to improvise! And then came the idea to just use all of these ingredients to make tacos. And that's what I did! So, we have our "Southwestern Chicken Tacos" instead :) I served them with some delicious Cheese-Garlic Biscuits [see how I made it!]and leftover corn from the tacos.

Here is the original recipe:

Southwestern Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups
(from Pillsbury website)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

1 container (8 oz) chives-and-onion cream cheese spread
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup drained Old El Paso pickled jalapeno slices (from 12 oz. jar)
1/2 cup canned (drained) Green Giant whole kernel corn
6 Old El Paso taco shells (from 4.6 oz box), coarsely broken
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes Unsalted or Salter butter, melted
1/2 to 3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
1 2/3 cups Old El Paso Thick N Chunky Salsa
2/3 cup sour cream

1. Heat oven to 350*. In medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, garlic powder, jalapenos and corn; set aside.
2. Place broken taco shells in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Crush taco shells with rolling pin until coarsely ground. (Or, place broken taco shells in food processor bowl with metal blade; process until coarsely ground). Pour crumbs into shallow dish; stir in chili powder.
3. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast, smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. Spread butter over one side of each chicken breast.
4. Place about 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture on center of buttered side of each chicken breast; roll up chicken. Pour buttermilk into shallow dish. Dip chicken rolls in buttermilk, then coat with crumb mixture. Insert toothpick to secure. Place in ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish. Drizzle with honey.
5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese blend; bake 4 to 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

1 Serving: Calories 780 (Calories from Fat 420); Total Fat 47g (Saturated Fat 26g, Trans Fat 2 1/2g); Cholesterol 205mg; Sodium 1720mg; Total Carbohydrate 44g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 23g); Protein 45g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 50%; Vitamin C 2%; Calcium 35%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 6 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Some modifications I made to the recipe were that I used small chicken tenderloins instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts. I did not buy the specific Old El Paso brand of salsa and jalapenos. Instead of the canned corn, I bought Green Giant niblets corn in a 10 oz. box, and had to cook that first according to the directions on the box. There was much more than needed, so I served the leftover corn as a side item. Next time I will try the canned corn.

I also cut the ingredients in half based on two servings rather than four. Once I noticed that I couldn't make the roll-ups, I just decided tacos would be a good substitute. I mean, hey, we still gotta eat! So I seasoned my chicken with the called-for chili powder and garlic powder, then baked for about 20 minutes on 400* (or until cooked through). Then I cut my chicken into long strips.

I couldn't bear to let that delicious cream cheese be left out of my new modified recipe, so I spread the chive-and-onion cream cheese onto the taco shell, then added the chicken strips, jalapenos, corn, salsa, honey, and cheese and put back in the oven on 450* for 4 minutes to melt the cheese and heat the taco shells. Then I used the sour cream for dipping. I must say, I am not a huge fan of hard tortillas and tacos in general, but these were pretty good. I guess it's safe to say that I like tacos now :)

Here is the entire meal.... Southwestern Chicken Tacos with corn and Cheese-Garlic Biscuits.