BBQ Chicken and Peach Kabobs Wrapped in Bacon

I saw this recipe on a site and thought it sounded absolutely wonderful. The flavor combination really appealed to me. However, the recipe was for the grill. Sadly, in my apartment – no grill. Not even a working broiler on my old stove. Hmm. So could I adapt this for the oven? Let’s give it a try. Here is the original recipe (with my notes in red). I decided to double it for my family.

BARBECUE CHICKEN AND PEACH KABOBS WITH BACON

INGREDIENTS

– 1/4cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce, divided (I used my favorite BBQ sauce and used a lot more of it than 1/4 cup)

– 1lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 16
pieces (I think I used almost 2lbs.)

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– 2 peaches, peeled, each cut into 8 pieces (I used 3 large peaches. However, I’ve never used skewers before and learned my lesson – don’t cut the pieces too small. A lot of them broke as I put them on the skewers)

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– 8slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cut crosswise in half (I didn’t use that brand. And instead of cutting them in half, I left them whole and simply skewered one slice on each end. I think next time I will cut them in half and wrap them as they say)

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DIRECTIONS
1. HEAT grill to medium-high heat. (Didn’t have grill or broiler – so preheated my oven to 350 degrees)

2. RESERVE 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Stack 1 each chicken and peach piece; wrap with 1 bacon piece. Repeat with remaining chicken, peaches and bacon. Thread onto 4 skewers. Brush with remaining barbecue sauce. (For the BBQ sauce – after I threaded everything on the skewers, I simply dumped BBQ sauce on each one – way more than the 1/4 cup. But we like BBQ sauce. Don’t forget if you are using wooden skewers to soak them in water at least a half an hour before using them.)

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3. GRILL 12 to 14 min. or until chicken is done, brushing with reserved sauce the last 2 min. (Again, no grill. So I baked these at 350 for 15 minutes and checked them. They were not done. After that I checked them every 10 minutes. I think in total it took about 45 minutes in the oven and never did get really crispy.)

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Final Thoughts

This was really delicious. My whole family love the combination of flavors. Even my youngest who isn’t fond of BBQ sauce loved it. He thought the bacon with the sauce on it was delicious. In the oven version – the peaches get perfectly tender, without being mushy. The bacon does not crisp up, which would probably be really good. But working with what I had, and this being the first time, I think it was a wonderful success. When I make it next time, I think I will try to do it either on the grill or a working broiler. I wouldn’t turn the heat up on it really – I think a higher heat would simply dry the meat out rather than brown it better. Two skewers up for this recipe! A definite winner.

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Campfire Cooking – Breakfast Burritos

With the nice weather here, and school winding down for the kids, a camping trip was in order. We love to camp and there isn’t much in this world that doesn’t taste better cooked over a campfire. So, while planning the menu for our trip, we wanted to try something we hadn’t tried before. The first night for dinner, we had steaks over the fire, and we cooked some extra steak. So – what to do with the extra steak? Steak breakfast burritos – in a baggy. Easy, good, and very filling. Here is a picture of ours while they cooked.

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You can use any ingredients you like in the baggies, each person gets their own – so be creative. I will list what we put in ours along with some suggestions at the end to other things you can add.

Campfire Breakfast Baggie Burritos

These are measurements for 1 baggie – which will make two smaller burritos or one large one

1 Ziploc sandwich size bag

1/2 cup diced steak, cooked

2 Tablespoons mushroom pieces

2 Tablespoons diced green pepper

2 Tablespoons diced onion

1/2 cup shredded cheese

2 large eggs

1 large or 2 smaller tortilla wraps

Over campfire, put large dutch oven or other pot full of water on to boil. Take 1 baggie and put in steak, toppings, and cheese. Crack eggs into baggie. Seal baggie and squeeze ingredients around, making sure to mix well, breaking the egg yolk. Place all the completed baggies in the boiling water and cover. Check after 5 minutes. Egg mixture should be cooked and solid. If not, allow to cook longer, checking every few minutes until done.  Using tongs, remove baggies from water and allow to sit for a minute. When you open the baggie, the egg mixture should roll right out in a rounded shape. Depending on if you want 1 large or two smaller wraps – either put on tortilla or split in half long ways and put on 2. You can add any extras you would like – such as sour cream, or salsa before wrapping up. Roll and enjoy!

Suggestion for Fillings

Diced ham

Crumbled bacon

Turkey bacon

Diced tomatoes

Crumbled, cooked ground meat

Diced sausage, cooked

Chopped spinich

Any spices you choose

You can basically add anything you like in your omelet at home. As long as the meat is already cooked. This is the first time we made these, and we had smaller tortillas so we made two each. They were delicious and very filling. We were able to fit all four of our baggies in our dutch oven, and clean up was a breeze, as there was no egg crusted pan to scrub at the campsite. We will definitely be having these again, with different combinations. What was nice, was we were able to put in just the ingredients that each person liked in each bag. A definite winner in our books.

Delicious Disaster Roast

Last night I decided I wanted to make a roast. So, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. It was already warm from some baking I had done just an hour before, so I figured it wouldn’t take long. I put the roast in a shallow, small, glass roasting dish I had. I made up a sort of marinate/sauce/rub to put on top. I covered it in foil and stuck it in the oven. An hour later, I go to check it only to find that my oven is ice cold. Yup, the oven broke. I’ve got four very hungry people, and no clue what to do with it. I already had made some pasta to make my side dish with – but no roast. Hmm, now what? Well – what else? Get creative. I pull out my big, deep frying pan and get started.

I cubed the roast up rather large, turned the marinate into a type of sauce and made it kind of like beef tips. Poured over the pasta, with some sweet corn on the side and there you go. While I was aggravated and a bit upset – the results ended up being more delicious than just a plain roast. It really was just made on the fly. But they say the proof is in the pudding. And the way they gobbled it up and there were no left overs, I’d say the disaster was delicious. Here’s what I did –

 

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To start with – here was what I originally put over the roast –

2 lb Chuck Roast

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1 heaping tsp horseradish 

1/2 tsp hamburger rub 

 

I mixed that all together and poured it over the roast then covered it with foil, lifting one corner to vent. It did then sit in a cold oven for an hour. So I guess that just allowed the marinade to soak in. When I realized the oven was broken, I got out the frying pan. Realizing I couldn’t cook a 2 pound roast in a pan, I decided to cube it up in rather large cubes, about an inch each. I dumped the sauce into the pan with it, but there was no where near enough sauce to cook with. Hmmm – liquid?

5 cubes beef bullion 

2 to 2 1/2 cups hot water

I dissolved 5 beef bullion cubes into about 2 1/2 cups of hot water and dumped that over top too. I allowed to simmer for about a half an hour. Now, this is not the best cut of meat for this type of dish, as the meat was not that tender. And also, if I had simmered it longer, perhaps it would have gotten more tender. But as we were already way past dinner time, and we were all starving, I called it done. I served it over the pasta with some great white corn on the side, with real butter melted over it.

 

Final Thoughts

Sometimes what seems to be a disaster, can turn out delicious. The flavor of this meat was very, very good. The horseradish was very subtle, not over powering at all. Even my youngest, who hates horseradish loved it. We all agreed that while the meat was not fork tender, it was by no means hard to chew. Cooking it longer may have made it even more tender. And if I tried this by choice, I probably would have used a different pasta than penne. But as it was already made, I went with it. I did have to add a little bit of additional water as I cooked it, but it made a wonderful gravy when it was done. I didn’t thicken up the gravy when it was done, so it was a thin gravy, but very good. So good that when we were done, there was some gravy left in the bottom, we made gravy bread out of it so that there weren’t even any drippings left. Now, that’s what I call a good meal! Sometimes what seems like a big problem, turns out to be a delicious disaster. 

Chicken Broccoli Teriyaki

We are huge fans of Chinese food in our house. We love to try all kinds of different types. I have as a standard in our house sesame oil, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, wasasbi, and a variety of other Chinese spices. We do stir fry, we do marinates, all that’s missing is the fortune cookie. Often times, I start out not knowing what I’m going to make with it all, but it turns out delicious anyway. Here is the latest I made at home that was wonderful combining two of our favorite foods – chicken and broccoli. Please excuse the poor photo. I took it with my cell phone and the camera on it does strange things with colors. But here it is.

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Chicken and Broccoli over Rice

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bag frozen broccoli florets

1 12oz bottle teriyaki sauce

3 Tblsp sesame seeds

1 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Sesame oil

4 servings cooked rice of your choice

First I heated the deep pan and put in some sesame oil to heat. I cubed the chicken into about 1 inch cubes and put in the pan to cook, stirring occasionally. When the chicken was about finished, I put the bag of still frozen broccoli in with it. I poured the teriyaki sauce on top and stirred to mix. While it was simmering, I added the remaining ingredients except the rice. I put a lid on top and simmered for about 10 minutes, until broccoli was cooked, but still crunchy. You don’t want to cook it too long or broccoli will get mushy. Spoon a serving of rice into a bowl and top with chicken and broccoli mix. Serve.

Chinese dishes are often some of the best food you can eat. Often loaded with vegetables, low in fat, using lean cuts of meat, usually served with rice, which is very healthy for you. A healthy choice that my family loves. I often find that I can get my kids to eat vegetables that they wouldn’t normally eat if I put it into a stir fry. While this one is a very simple one with only broccoli in it – you can actually use any stir fry vegetable mix you want with this, adding peppers, snap peas, water chestnuts, what ever catches your fancy. I will probably be posting more oriental recipes here as I try them. But this is a simple standard in our house.

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

This is a recipe I read about online and simply had to try. It seems to combine the best of all things – bread, bacon, cheese, and ranch. It looks a bit like a blooming onion, but is more like an order of loaded fries. The only difference really is that it was bread instead of potatoes. I served this along with our dinner, in the middle of the table where we could all dig in and it was a huge hit. I will post the recipe, along with my comments in blue. My final thoughts will follow the recipe.

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread (I chose a larger, round, loaf of sourdough)

8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (I think when I make this again, I would use shredded rather than sliced cheese, and depending on the size of your loaf, and how much you like, you may need more)

3 oz bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits (the real bacon bits are essential, not the little dried ones)

1/2 cup butter, melted (depending on the size of your loaf of bread – you may need more)

1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix (depending on the size of your loaf, you may need more)

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

FINAL THOUGHTS

My family and I LOVED this recipe. However, when I make this again, I am going to make changes to the recipe. I’m not sure if the loaf I used was larger than theirs or not. But what I found was, there wasn’t enough of anything but the bacon. It needed more cheese, more butter, and more ranch. Also, the bake time was nowhere close, which again makes me think my loaf may have been much bigger than the one they used. I wrapped it and baked it the 15 minutes, then uncovered and baked it the 10. But it wasn’t even close to done. So I put it in again uncovered for another 15 minutes. It still wasn’t done. So I wrapped it back up and baked it another 10. Then I uncovered it and ended up baking about another 15. So, while it took much longer than it called for, a smaller loaf would have cooked much quicker. So, next time I make this, I think I am going to pick a smaller loaf and increase the cheese and sauce some. The left overs were okay. We had about a half a loaf left. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and the next day, added some butter to the leftovers and microwaved it wrapped in the plastic wrap for about a minute and it was still yummy. The only thing left was the hard crust on the bottom, which I simply broke up and threw out for the birds to eat.

Nutter Butter and Chocolate Overload Cupcakes

This first recipe I am posting is not of my own making. I got it from justapinch.com which is my all time favorite website to get recipes from. I actually first joined the site by following a link to this recipe. With two of my favorite things – chocolate and peanut butter, you put them together and I’m there. When I saw this recipe I knew I just had to try it. And it made a TON of them – 24 cupcakes. But I had no shortage of people willing to help me eat them.  I will post my notes along with the recipe in blue.

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NutterButter and Chocolate Overload Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 bx cake mix, devils food..mix as directed

1 pkg regular sized nutterbutter cookies (I just bought two boxes of the mini cookies)

1 pkg mini nutterbutter cookies

1 can(s) chocolate frosting

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

1 c  creamy peanut butter

8 Tbsp butter room temperature (I used real unsalted butter)

2 c  powdered sugar

3-4 Tbsp  heavy cream..you can use milk also..until frosting is thinned a little (I used 2% milk)

2 tsp  pure vanilla

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350.Take 12 NutterButter cookies and cut them in half. Line cupcake tins with cupcake papers and drop a half a cookie in the bottom of each. (I just dropped one of the mini cookies in the bottom of each)

2 Mix cake mix according to directions on the box.

3 Chop approx 12 cookies coarsely and mix them in the cake mix. (I put about 24 mini cookies in a Ziploc bag and crushed them coarsely)

4 Fill the cupcake tins and bake aprrox 15-18 min.

5 Prepare Frosting

Cream togather peanut butter and butter. Add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar. Add cream or milk to thin the frosting as desirsed.

6 Frost cupcake ..leave a well in the center the place a dab of chocolate frosting and place a mini NutterButter on top. (I found the heat of the kitchen made the frosting very runny. So after I frosted them, I kept them in the fridge to keep the frosting from melting. Perhaps I simply made it too thin. Next time I would make it thicker)

FINAL THOUGHTS

My family and friends really loved these.  They were very, very rich and one is about all you can eat. They are very large, and very sweet.  I did end up giving several away to people since 24 is a lot and storing them in the fridge took up a lot of room. I would make these again, but perhaps for a party or for a gathering of a lot of people. They would be great for a bake sale, a potluck dinner, or other type thing. They look great, and taste great. But they are a bit much just to have in the house for dessert.

An Adventure in Cooking

When I was little, I remember watching my Mom cook, and my Grandma’s in the kitchen with all kinds of good smells coming out of the oven. I wanted to grow up and cook just like them. But somewhere along the line, time, energy, and a variety of other things got in the way. I found myself looking for easier and easier ways to make things. I started looking to things like pre-made, processed, just add meat kind of meals. Hamburger Helper, Mac and Cheese, and frozen dinners replaced the yummy smells coming out of the oven. The ding of the microwave took the place of the ding of a timer. I stopped being creative, and started being tired. My spice shelf consisted of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That was about it. Sad really.

But I never really lost my longing for home cooked foods. Maybe not the foods of my childhood. Much of the foods of my childhood were not that healthy. They were good, and home cooked. But fried, breaded, lots of carbs, calories, and love put into them. But I also never stopped loving recipes. I have always collected recipes. My mom’s old ones, my grandma’s favorites, ones cut from magazines, and then later, ones from online. I would read them, think about them, organize them, save them. And there they would sit. I have a recipe box that I love.  I have cookbooks I look at. I have online files and sites that I belong to. Collected, saved, and collecting dust.

However, this past year, I started another blog – it’s called A New Year, A New Me.  It was all about the changes I want to make in my life. Things I want to do, stop doing, and do better. One of the things I really want to do for me and my family is to change our eating. So, I thought what better way than to encourage myself by trying these recipes, making new foods, expanding our diets. I would like to make healthier choices, more interesting foods, try new things. Now don’t get me wrong. This is not a health food blog, a vegetarian blog, or even an advice blog. What I want to do is pull out all those yummy recipes and try them. As I do, I’m going to take pictures and post them with the recipe, and the results. Some will be healthier than others, some will be downright sinful. But, they will all be made by me, with love, from my kitchen. So, join me on a journey as I venture into the kitchen and once again enjoy cooking.