Thursday, November 12, 2015

WIAW and BBQ Chicken Nachos

I'm still not doing too well on the WIAW posts. I forgot to take a picture of my lunch, doh! Plus today is Thursday instead of Wednesday, so it's really a WIAT post. But nobody would know what that means, so we'll pretend it's Wednesday!

I try to limit myself to Starbucks once a week. I know, some people would say that is a lot, but some people go there daily! I have the Starbucks app since you get a few rewards every now and then, so I had a $2 off a breakfast sandwich that I used to get this ham, egg and swiss croissant sandwich. It was pretty good, and I usually don't like to eat this heavy of a breakfast. Then I had the pike place roast coffee, which has a burnt taste/smell sometimes... but it's nice a strong which I like!

Lunch was just Deans cottage cheese with pineapple and mango, and vegetable soup from Trader Joe's. Here is my substitute picture.

Redesigned Dean Foods sour cream and cottage cheese packaging adds stackability, and scoopability.

For dinner, I made BBQ Chicken Nachos from The Floating Kitchen. I received delicious cookies from Liz last year in the Great Annual Blogger Cookie Swap, so I've been following her blog ever since, and her pictures are amazing! They make me want to try every single thing she posts.

My phone pictures are not the best, but you get the idea. This was really simple to make, especially if you buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. I even got a 1/2 rotisserie chicken since it only calls for 2 cups of shredded chicken. It was the perfect amount.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cups barbecue sauce
  • 12 ounces tortilla chips
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of Cheddar, Mozzarella and Jack)
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • pico di gallo
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with the barbecue sauce until well coated.
  3. Spread about half of the tortilla chips out over your baking sheet. Top with half of the chicken and half of the cheese. Then add the remaining chips and repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove. Top with pico di gallo and avocado, or serve on the side. Serve immediately.
 Recipe adapted from The Floating Kitchen

For dessert, I made Salted Carmel Bread Pudding from the frozen section at Trader Joe's. This isn't a picture of that (it's wasn't that pretty, trust me), but I had to share this because it's the most delicious French Toast Bread Pudding from a little coffee shop/deli I went to the other day. I loved that they put mint leaves in the whipped cream! It added a little punch to some of my bites. Mint should definitely be used in more dishes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chocolate Chip Carmel Peanut Butter Bars

Now that we are old and married (almost 2 months now) I've been trying to cook dinner more nights, and on top of that, keep up my love of baking, which is hard after I've already been in the kitchen for 3 hours every night prepping and cooking and washing dishes and cleaning up. It's hard to not fix the same thing over and over, so I started a recipe binder and once I make something we both like, I add it to the binder!

These bars are from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, which I have been getting most of my dinners from because they have all been so delicious! So I had a feeling her desserts would be pretty tasty as well. And yup, I was right. This one is going in the binder for sure.

Chocolate chip cookies are so good, and with peanut butter..... oh man even better.... and with CARMEL!?!?! That puts these in the best flavor combo ever ranking. My crappy phone pictures don't do them justice. But hopefully they tempt you just enough to go and make them right now!

Chocolate Chip Carmel Peanut Butter Bars
Yields 9X13 pan

Chocolate Chip cookie bottom:
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (13.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips 
Peanut Butter Caramel:
  • 10 ounces soft caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together in a large bowl until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread or press about half (or just slightly more than half) of the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8-9 minutes.
  4. While the cookie dough base is baking, add the caramels and cream to a saucepan, heat on low on the stovetop, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until the caramel is melted and smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract.
  5. Drizzle the caramel mixture over the top of the baked cookie dough and spread evenly.
  6. Pinch the remaining cookie dough between your fingers and crumble over the top of the caramel.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the bars are puffed and the edges are slightly golden.
  8. Let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

And now, I will leave you with my usual cute Wyatt pics. Here he is looking like a person with his head on the pillow. And his Halloween costume didn't quite fit this year.