Friday, October 9, 2015

Save That Bread! Toast Your Own Croutons!

Don't toss those few leftover slices of bread.  Toast them and make your own croutons!  It's so easy to do that you can be toasting the slices of bread while you're cleaning your kitchen or loading the dishwasher.

1.  Spread slices of any kind of bread in a single layer on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with olive oil.  Spray tops of slices with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt or your favorite crouton seasoning.
2.  Toast in preheated 400 degree oven.
3.  Using a bread knife, cut bread into cubes.  Let cool.  Place in ziplock bags to store.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chicken Carnitas in Your Slow Cooker

After a couple of end-of-summer trips to Texas and Mexico, I'm happy to be back enjoying the mild fall weather of NWA!  I got back just in time for my favorite season to begin. 
  I love the crisp air in the mornings when I walk Abbey, and although our leaves haven't really changed yet, I know it's coming!  It's time to pull out a couple of sweaters and jackets for that occasional cool day or early morning dog-walk!
  Around our house, the beginning of fall means searching for soup, chili and stew recipes for my slow cooker to "work on" all day.  What a great way to make your house smell wonderful. 
   I've got a Tex-Mex recipe for you that uses chicken in a tangy citrus/garlic sauce that cooks all day in your slow cooker, and then finishes under the broiler (to put a crisp edge on the meat before filling corn tortillas with it!). (Here are pictures of my process first and then the recipe). I found this recipe on ClosetCooking that I pinned to my board in Pinterest;  so glad that I saved this one!  Delicious!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Easiest, Fastest, Birthday Cake You Will Ever Make!

  Just when you thought that my desserts couldn't get any simpler, I plan to show you that they can!  Our son, Justin, has a birthday coming up and he loves ice cream cake!  
  Now, I admit that have bought ready-made ice cream cakes in the past, and have made homemade ice cream cakes in the past, but this version is less messy, less expensive and less time-consuming.  If it's as delicious as it looks...this recipe will go in my keeper box!!
  I'm sharing pictures of the foolproof process.  This would be great for a children's party, because you make it ahead and freeze it.  Also, it would be very easy to adapt it to bigger groups.  Just buy more ice cream bars and make your layers larger!  It's also ideal for a small family because you can just use 1 box (any flavor) of ice cream sandwiches as I did.

You will need:
1 box of 12 ice cream sandwiches
1 bottle of chocolate ice cream syrup or topping
1 bottle of caramel ice cream syrup or topping
1 can of vanilla icing
Colored sprinkles
1.  Spread 6 of the ice cream sandwiches side by side on the bottom of a covered cake container that can go in the freezer.  Cover with a thin layer of caramel syrup (this is the "glue").
2.  Cover with the sprinkles.
3.  Now, add that second layer of 6 ice cream sandwiches.
4.  Use the can of vanilla icing to frost the outside of the I'm half-way done.
5. Drizzle chocolate syrup and then the caramel over the top.
6.  Use sprinkles (additional decorations are optional).  Put the top on your container and put the ice cream cake in the freezer for a day.
You're done!!  Once you throw the ice cream wrappers away, there is no mess! You now have extra time to wrap your gift and search your kitchen cupboards for those birthday candles that you only use a few times each year!  Enjoy!