Friday, August 29, 2014

Crock Pot Roasted Chicken Legs

I am sharing this recipe at The Weekend Pot Luck.
Lots of great recipes there.

 Me and crock pots usually battle when it comes to preparing food.
My thoughts on the crock pot are:
mushy food
waste of time
I can cook my meals quicker

Why do I doubt the crock pot so bad?
The only bad thing that I deal with in a crock pot is pasta.
I never have luck with pasta dishes when they are prepared
by the crock pot.

When I ran across this roasted chicken recipe at The Midnight Baker 
I had my doubts.
There is no way a crock pot, slow cooker can roast chicken.
I did what any normal food blogger would do
and put the crock pot to the challenge.
You are going to fail again my enemy friend.......
But guess who ended up being the fool?
I will for sure make this again and again.
 I used some the best creole seasoning you can find.
Tony's is the best there is.
Tip * Creole seasoning is spicy.
If you feel you need to cut back on the amount you can.
 All you do is mix together
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 TBS creole seasoning
I rolled and squeezed the seasonings onto 5 chicken legs.
 They are supposed to lay flat in the bottom of a slow cooker.
I had to use two cookers because my crock pots are old antique out dated.
I don't have one of the fancy smancy oval ones with the removable crock.....
If you read this?
I would really like a fancy smancy crock pot.

But anyway....
Cook the chicken legs on high for 4-5 hours,
or until the juices run clear.
I did not let mine go past 5 hours.
Actually mine was more like 4 1/2 hours.
To serve with the roasted chicken legs, 
which is very good by the way, and roasted red potatoes.
If you are not a Schwan's customer you might want to look
into becoming one. 
They have a lot of great food.

See ya'all soon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Peanut Butter No-Bakes and the Weekend

It was kind of a quiet weekend for us.
We did our usual Friday night pool playing
(hoping it won't be long before friends join us)
We just got the man cave up and running about a month ago.

Our Friday night pool playing kind of lead to a late start on Saturday.
We went to Thiel's Wheels Backyard BBQ in Upper Sandusky.
Check out their Web Site for up-coming events.
We got there late so we missed all the games and good times,
but we enjoyed the band for a couple hours.
If you visit their Facebook page you can see all the pictures of the BBQ.

On Sunday we rode the bike back north where I am (Angie) originally from.
I have two daughters that still live in the area.
My oldest daughter just celebrated a birthday and I wanted to be
there to see her. And I miss my grandchildren something terrible.
On our return to Marion we stopped to see my youngest daughter
and newest grand baby. 
We continued on through Toledo and stopped at Tony Packo's to eat.
This visit to Tony Packo's was my first time there.
I had no idea that Tony Packo's is all about German food.
I was in German food heaven right down to the cherry strudel.
I will for sure be going back there.

We are bringing you a sweet treat today.
Who loves no-bake cookies?
The inspiration for this recipe came from South Your Mouth.
We made a couple changes and we will fill you in after you
drool all over these pictures.
They are the perfect no-bake cookie.
This is what we did:

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

2 c. sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/2 c. Butter Pecan, International Delight coffee creamer
1 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 c. dark chocolate baking chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans

In a large saucepan bring to boil the sugar, salt, butter, and creamer. Boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat.
Add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir well.
Add oatmeal and stir until fully incorporated.
We left that mixture sit and cool for about 5-10 minutes.
We added the pecans and stirred them in well.
We then added the dark chocolate chips and just stirred until the chocolate was marbled.
We then used a large cookie scoop and scooped the mixture onto waxed paper. We used the back of the cookie scoop to kind of press them down a bit.
Let them set and completely cool before eating.

See ya'all soon

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bunch of Drunk'n Potatoes and a Product Review

 I don't know about you,
but I love roasted red potatoes.
My favorite way is roasted with just a seasoning of salt and pepper.
But I have found a new way to roast my red potatoes.
I get them drunk first.
 I prepared my potatoes at lunch time.
I cut them in wedges and covered them in a mixture of white wine and Lime-A-Rita.
I left them sit and soak until it was time to prepare dinner.
 Just make sure they are completely covered with the alcoholic liquid. 
 When I was ready to prepare them I dumped them into a calendar in the sink.
I almost shed a tear when I heard that liquid go down the drain......
While they were in the calendar I seasoned them with 
Johnny's seasoned sea salt and crushed black pepper. 
I tossed them around so they would get coated really good.
 I lined a baking sheet with foil.
Make sure you spray the foil with cooking spray.
I placed the wedges in a single layer and drizzled just a bit of olive oil.
 I baked them in a 400 degree F. oven for 20-30 minutes.
As you can see they got nice and brown.
 For the product review:
I was shopping at Aldi's again....
I ran across this Crispy Tempura Chicken.
With it just being Johnie and I here to eat, this size bag was perfect.
I don't care how hard you try, 
the food that is prepared out of those bags never looks like the photo cover.
But just to let you know,
This chicken was very good.
A great item for quick fix.
Just a little zing with the red pepper flakes.
It was a perfect match to add with the drunk'n potatoes.

See ya'all soon

Friday, August 22, 2014

Restaurant Review: Tony's Restaurant and Pub

Here is a restaurant review that is going to make your mouth water.
And you will probably run to your car and drive to it no matter how far away it is.
Johnie and I eat here often.
The service is fantastic.
It is one of our all time favorite places to eat.
Because the food is out-of-this-world amazing.
We drive an hour just to eat at Tony's.
And we do this at least once a month.
The last time I was there I asked if I could do a review on our blog.
Of course the answer was yes
(like these guys need anymore publicity)
(They've got it go'n on)
Did you see the sign?
"Award winning ribs and chicken"
Need they say more?
 Speaking of awards....
Do you see all those trophies?
And I couldn't get all of them in my photo.
That's an awful lot of BLING right there.
That would probably tell me that Tony's could be best in the world.
 I had to get a shot of their awesome salad bar.
When we go we always do the one-trip salad bar and order off the menu.
I haven't made their salad bar my meal yet.
See, I say "yet".
I would love to go and indulge in the "all you can eat" salad bar just once.
That way I can say I did it.
They have got tons of salad toppings,
potato salads,
vegetable salads,
all kinds of desserts,
But I can't give a good description here.
You have got to go to Tony's Restaurant & Pub to see for yourself.
Visit their Web Site it will tell you more.
You can also find them on Facebook to keep up with what they are doing.
I "liked" their page a long time ago.....
 Johnie and I have a goal set.
We are going to order every item that Tony's has to offer on the menu.
Our last visit consisted of the steak and ribs.
When we go to restaurants we order different items and then share.
That way we can try different things.
The steak was cooked perfect.
 The ribs????
I now know why they are the best in the world.
And they are for sure worthy of their BLING.
 I had to get a picture of these world famous ribs and 
how they just fall off the bone.
You don't even need silverware.
Just pick them up and let the awesome sticky juice run to your elbows.
That's what I did.....
If you are ever in the Findlay, Ohio area make sure you stop in to Tony's,
and tell him Johnie and I sent you.

See ya'all soon

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Weekend and Pear Cobbler

 One thing you will find out if you follow this blog closely.....
Johnie LOVES sweet stuff.
And one of his favorite fruits is the pear.
The inspiration for this recipe came from A Night Owl.
I sometimes wonder why the pear is so often pushed aside.
You don't really see much made with pears.
But when I viewed the little peach cobblers that A Night Owl made,
I quickly decided that I was going to put together two of Johnie's favorites.
This amazing dessert was the ending to our meal on Friday.  
 On Saturday we spent most of the day with Johnie's family.
His son and granddaughters came and ate lunch with us.
Mid day we decided to go out venturing on the bike.
We ended up in Bucyrus, Ohio at the bratwurst festival. 
I tried to get a picture of the endless midway.
German Food
They had everything from bloom'n onions, brats, sauerkraut balls,
to great big bowls of deep fried veggies.
We were in German Food heaven.
Oh and, we can't forget the homemade cabbage and noodles,
and German potato salad,
and German hot dogs,
and cream puffs,
I could probably go on and on...... 
 We made it just in time for the parade.
The parade has got to start with the bratwurst royalty of course.
 Also the "Best Damn Band in the Land" was there.
The OSU Alumni.....
 And the little twirlers.....
I fell in love with their costumes.
Way too cute!!
We just love parades.
 As we were leaving Bucyrus we ran across this old time gas station.
Of course we had to get this caught on film.
There were old-time fire trucks, gas trucks, and police cars on display.
 Uh Oh!!
Johnie's busted!
 As you can see my pear cobblers kind of ran over.
But that's okay.
I sat them on a small baking sheet just in case.
Even though they ran over in the oven they were still fluffy and moist on the inside.
This is what I did:
Pear Cobbler

1/2 c. biscuit mix (Bisquick)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Canned pears in syrup
2 TBS butter

I whipped up some homemade whipped topping by using heaving whipping cream. Just use your stand mixer with whip attachment. Begin whipping the cream (I used about 1/2 c.) and slowly add sugar (about 2 TBS).
I also slowly added about 1 tsp. vanilla. Just whip it to your liking..... Simple!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add 1 TBS butter to each 1/2 pint jar. Melt in the oven while preheating.
Mix together biscuit mix, sugar, nutmeg, and milk.
Remove the jars from the oven and pour in the prepared biscuit mix. 
I filled mine about half full. By increasing the measurements to half cup amounts I could have probably made four of these.
But I forced my ingredients into two jars.
Maybe that is why they ran over.....
Add desired amount of pears and place back in the oven (on top of a baking sheet) for 40 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Top each with whipped cream, or ice cream, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.

The batter that ran over the side of the jars was kind of like an extra sweet treat. It was crunchy and sweet.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Turkey/Shrimp Alfredo

 Do turkey and shrimp go together?
Well they do now!
Because I made it that way.
I prepared this amazing feast for Johnie,
and guess what happened?
I had everything ready and on the table by 3:45 p.m.
No Johnie!
I kept it warm till 4:15 p.m.
No Johnie!
I put everything away at 4:30 p.m.
He is going to have an amazing lunch for his next day of work.
With Johnie working in corrections I never know when he will be home.
Which means I cannot plan around his job.
 Here is another product for you that has been tested true.
By me!
I love this line that Aldi Supermarkets offer.
They have cracked pepper (which is this one) and rotisserie flavor.
These are so easy to make.
Some things that are nice about this product: 
Easy fix.
It can be used for many meals.
And it tastes great.
All you have to do is stick it in a 350 degree F. oven for an hour.
We use them for sandwiches,
grilled cheese,
and even pizza.
 That is how turkey ended up in my Alfredo.
I have some slices put back for grilled sandwiches tomorrow too.
 For the shrimp I just used cocktail shrimp and removed the tails.
I used about a half pound.
I chopped up about a cup of cooked black pepper turkey.
For the seasoning on the shrimp I tossed them in a little Tony's creole seasoning.
I left the turkey and shrimp sit until I was ready to add it in.
This is what I did:

Turkey/Shrimp Alfredo

Cook your pasta while making the sauce. I used 1/2 package of thin spaghetti. You can use any kind of pasta you like.

In a skillet I melted 1 TBS butter.
I added 1 c. chopped onion. I cooked the onion until it was glassy looking.
I added 3 large mushrooms sliced. I cooked the mushrooms with the onion until they were to my liking.
I added 1 TBS of Tony's creole seasoning and 1/4 c. white wine.
Then I poured in 1 c. heaving whipping cream and 1 c. Kraft Parmesan cheese. 
I stirred until it thickened slightly.
I added the turkey and shrimp. Stirred a little more. Then added my cooked pasta.
Mixed it all together and plated it.

I'm not going to tell you how I made the garlic bread. I will save that for another post.

See ya'all soon

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Weekend of Going Bananas: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 Yes, you read that right.
44 games of pool on Friday.
We did not see our bed till 6 in the morning.
Johnie grew up playing pool.
He often uses, "My dad always told me.....",
and then he will clear the table.
I'm a rookie!
I played some pool growing up but never seriously.
Johnie is taking the time to teach me his little tricks.
I racked 33 games....
So I could probably win an award for fastest racker......

On Saturday.....
We winged the whole entire day.
After 4 strong hours of sleep....
We just took off on the bike with no real destination in mind.
We ended up in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area.
We drove right into a music and arts festival.
From there we went to Heath, Ohio.
We ate at a privately own sports bar, and I do believe it was 
called Big Daddy's Grill.
We didn't really care for the atmosphere,
but the burgers were amazing.
We came back to Marion, Ohio (where we live), 
and we drove right into a car show.
We had to walk the street and look at all the old cars.
To top our Saturday adventure off we stopped at Fred's on Silver St.
to share a huge banana split that was less than $4.00.
 Our day was a little more planned on Sunday.
We are finding out that there is a lot of beauty in Ohio.
Our destination on Sunday was the Mohican State Park.
We spent most of the day there.
We packed Subway subs, chips, and iced tea drinks.
After our picnic we decided to hike the nature trails there.
We hiked six miles on rough 
tree rooted,
stone covered,
steep hill paths.
I don't know where my 51 year old man gets his energy.
I (46) could hardly keep up.
On our way back to Marion we cruised through Ontario, Ohio
with a quick stop at Brown Derby Roadhouse
The Brown Derby has got to be the best steakhouse I have
ever been at.
Their food is top-notch!!
If you're ever in the area you have got to stop and eat there.

We are still focusing on potassium.
And what better way than to make banana bread? 
I gave this banana bread a twist of my own.
 Have you tried the Jif Whips?
I am not too crazy about them.
To smear them on bread just doesn't do anything for me.
But to drizzle them over home-made banana bread....
The whips are awesome!
 All I did was melt a small amount of the Jif Whip in the microwave.
When the bread was completely cool I drizzled the whip over the top.
Banana bread with frosting......
The inspiration for this recipe came from Oh, Sweet Basil.
Give her a visit because she has lots of banana bread recipes.
All tried and true.
Mine turned out perfect.
I did just a few things differently.
Of course, topping it with Jif Whip as one.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. all-spice
1/3 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
an overflowing tsp. of vanilla
1 c. mashed banana
1 c. peanut butter/dark chocolate chips
Cinnamon/sugar mixture to sprinkle on top (about 2 TBS)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bread pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a bowl mix together the baking soda, flour and salt, set aside.
Mix together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a mixer bowl.
Mash bananas (I used two) in a bowl.
Alternate between the banana mixture and dry ingredients, starting with the dry ingredients first.
Stir in the peanut butter/chocolate chips.
Pour mixture in prepared pan and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.
Bake for 50-60 minutes (mine was closer to the 60 minute mark).
Test with wooden pick to see if it comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool about 15 minutes in pan before trying to remove it.
Allow bread to completely cool and then drizzle with Jif Whip.

See ya'all soon!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some Italian Flare

 We could not come up with a name for this.
So we will just call it an Italian Flare.
(The fish is Schwans Potato Encrusted Cod)
Which is very good, by the way.

Someone in this blog area.....I won't mention any names Johnie.
I promise!
Is having issues with headaches and leg cramps.
Well the leg cramps are obvious.....
Low potassium.
So since this person that I promised not to mention.
See Johnie, I didn't say any names.....
Refuses to go to the doctor.
So Angie has taken a stand, and is looking into changing the diet.
A person's body issues usually relate to diet.
Notice I said usually?
We are going to give this a try for a while to see how the leg cramps go.

Which more potassium means:
Dark leafy greens
Bananas (of course)
Dried Apricots 
White beans
Baked potatoes
Acorn Squash 
(but we will leave this one out. johnie doesn't like the squishy stuff)
 We informed you in our introduction that this blog would be a place for product reviews.
Here is our first product:
Happy Harvest Diced Tomatoes.
These are found at the Aldi Supermarket.
We have been doing a lot of shopping there and their products are pretty amazing.
These tomatoes are just as good, if not better than, Hunts.
I like the diced tomatoes with herbs.
This one is basil, garlic, and oregano.
We keep our pantry stocked with these.
A can of these are very good served over pasta, veggies, or for creating your own Italian dish.
Just like we did.
 One thing about Angie in the kitchen, she is always planning ahead.
She soaked one whole bag of great northern beans and divided them into
2 c. freezer bag portions.
That way they are soaked and ready to go.
All you have to do is simmer them for 45 minutes to an hour in salted water.
Using fresh dried beans is so much better for you than the 
overloaded preservative packed cans.
This is what we did to create this awesome potassium filled dish:

Italian Flare

The (2 c.) soaked, frozen great northern beans have to be simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. So you will have to plan ahead if using them. Just cover the beans with salted water, bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer covered for 45 min. to an hour. You want them firm tender, so don't over-cook them.

1 can diced seasoned tomatoes
1 jar marinara sauce
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried Italian seasoning
Place these ingredients in a large skillet and simmer covered for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, and a 16 oz. bag of fresh spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt. 

Cook your pasta to desired taste. Top the pasta with sauce and parm cheese.

See ya'all soon

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Orleans Pecan Praline Brownies

 Since Johnie spent some time living in Louisiana I thought this recipe
would be fitting to create for him.
Did you kind of sing that intro?
"I spent last night in the arms of a girl in Louisiana"......Garth Brooks

Just look at that layer of praline.
That's a whole lot of sweet right there.
 The inspiration for this recipe came from 
One thing that I did find out; 
When the recipe calls for a certain size pan.....USE IT!!
I wanted my brownie to be thicker so I used a smaller pan.
Which in turn caused my praline to be very thick.
But if you like praline you will love these brownies.
To toast my pecans, I put them on a cookie sheet and baked 
them in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

I sent this recipe over to The Weekend Potluck. They always have
tons of great recipes. Make sure you give them a visit. 
A perfect way to plan your weekly menu.
Just go click'n.....

New Orleans Pecan Praline Brownies

1 box brownie mix to fit a 9x13 pan (family size).
Mix according to directions and stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cool completely

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
6 TBS butter
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Add cream, butter, and brown sugar to a medium sized saucepan. Heat to boiling and boil for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool 5 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and toasted pecans.
Spread over completely cooled brownies. Allow to cool for 45 minutes before cutting.

If you visit Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom she has a great tip for cutting the brownies so you don't crack the praline. That way your brownies won't look all messy like mine. But they still eat the same.....

And since you now have the recipe for praline don't be afraid to use to top cookies, cakes, ice cream, or wherever your heart desires some praline.

See ya'all soon

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Weekend & Johnie's French Toast

 What does a middle-age couple do to make the weekends creative?
I will show you.....
Come on, come with me and walk through our exciting weekend.
 It started with Friday watching Friskie resist the urge to pounce on that squirrel.
I had some leftover popcorn from the drive-in last weekend.
And instead of throwing it in the trash I dumped it for the squirrels.
Actually I did that just to irritate Friskie. 
Don't tell him I said that though.
 Then on Saturday, the cool cat that Friskie is, he was telling us,
"Get on your bike and ride. If you're not going to I will."
You are just so slick Friskie cat!
It was kind of rainy and gloomy Saturday so Johnie took advantage
and rested up the whole day.
 Because Friday evening we decided to act like teenagers.
We do that sometimes since we go way back to high school days.
But there was a thirty year break where we didn't see each other.
We were busy living our lives as they should be lived.
Until we meet again.
There are a lot of times when I see that teenage boy that I so well remember.
And I'm sure Johnie can do the same with me.
But when we turn on our teenage reminiscing sometimes we don't know
when to stop.....
Friday night we played pool and dipped into the rum just a little too much.
It went on into the wee hours of Saturday morning.
That may explain Johnie's hibernating on Saturday.
The broken mirror is the proof that we need to grow up......
Not for long, just for a little bit.
The door mirror was being used as a score card.
Yeah, we use a dry-erase marker to keep score of who wins.
Need I say more? 
 So Sunday morning Johnie bounced back to life.
We decided to be that middle-age couple again.
He turned on the charm and cooked me breakfast.
Is that a, "Sorry I was so out of it Saturday" proposition?
Only Johnie knows.....
But I will leave it alone because I really enjoyed his breakfast.
I don't want to spoil a good thing.
 What did he have going on on the stove?
Take a look.
It's French Toast.
And very good French Toast at that.
I had a hard time getting all that down.
But I managed.
Not hard to do when it is so good.
I can't wait to see what we get into next weekend......

Johnie's French Toast

This is what he did:

8 eggs
1 TBS cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 TBS sugar
Whip this all together with a fork and then add,
1 c. milk
Whip with fork again.
He used a cast iron griddle to cook the French toast. Make sure you start with a well heated skillet over med/high heat.
Dip the bread pieces into egg mixture and place on skillet. When it's brown on one side you flip it over to the other.
Serve with butter and maple syrup.

See ya'all later