Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Given the creamy italian salad dressing in this recipe, I was unsure if it would be good.  Much to my surprise, it worked! This recipe from The Goose Berry Patch turns out was a perfect compliment to the Olive Garden 'Copy Cat' Chicken Scampi dish I made last night. 

  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ to 1 c. creamy Italian salad dressing
  • 1 loaf Italian bread, halved lengthwise
  • 2 c. shredded Cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese (I used cheddar & parmesan)
  • 2 t. dried parsley

  1. Blend butter, garlic and salad dressing together in a small bowl.
  2. Place bread on a baking sheet, cut-side up. Spread butter mixture over both halves.
  3. Top with shredded cheese and parsley.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Slice each half into 8 pieces; serve warm.

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Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Scampi



  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil - divided use
  • 1/2 green bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium sized red onion sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic sliced thin
  • 1 pound Anegel hair pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • Seasoning salt or Garlic salt


Place flour, panko, salt, and pepper into a shallow dish and mix well with a fork. Place milk in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken first in flour/panko, then dip into milk, and then dredge again in the flour/panko. Place breaded chicken on a wrack and allow to rest 10 minutes before cooking. While the chicken is resting, cut peppers, onions, and garlic.

Saute peppers, onions, and garlic in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season peppers, onions, and garlic with a light spinkling of salt. Saute until peppers begin to brown. Remove from skillet.

Place remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in hot skillet or WOK .   Place chicken in skillet. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until the chicken has browned on both sides. Add more olive oil as needed. Sprinkle with a pinch of seasoning salt or garlic salt.  Remove chicken from pan.

Deglaze the pan by adding white wine to the pan and add italian seasoning blend. Scrape the bottom with a spoon scrapping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add heavy cream and mix well. Return cooked vegetables to the pan and stir. Simmer for a minute or two. Add cooked pasta to the skillet. Plate the pasta and sauce, placing a few pieces of cooked chicken with each plate.

Serve with Cheesy Garlic Bread.


Recipe adapted and changed from

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birthday Cake Batter No Churn Ice Cream

I was looking to make some no churn ice cream and was lucky to find a cake batter no churn ice cream at cake scraps.  Perfect! And EASY.  Here goes...
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dry yellow cake mix
1 tbsp butter flavor
1/3 cup sprinkles

In medium bowl, whip 1 cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks.
In separate bowl, stir together remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, cake mix, and butter flavor.  Fold whipped cream into this mixture.  Fold in sprinkles.  Pour into a freezer safe airtight container and freeze until solid.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

 Roll out your pie crust.  Spread thin layer of caramel.
 Spread the cut up apple filling on. 
Cut the second pie crust into strips and lattice them over the apples

Dip a cookie cutter or cup in egg wash and cut out cookies.  Brush egg wash over each cookie.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.  Bake for 18-25 min on 350.

1 Box Pillsbury Pie Crust
1 Can Apple Pie Filling
Caramel Sauce
1 Egg
Cinnamon Sugar mix

Pre-heat oven to 350F
Lay 1 of the pie crusts flat out and spread a thin layer of caramel sauce over it
Cut up apples from apple pie filling into small chunks then spread over top caramel (you will use about 3/4 of the can)
Spread out the other pie crust on a board or counter and cut long strips to make a lattice
Start making the lattice over top the apples
Dip a cookie cutter or top of cup in egg wash and cut out cookies then place on greased baking sheet
Brush egg wash over each cookie
Top cookies with cinnamon sugar mixture
Bake for 18-25 minutes until browned
Drizzle caramel sauce over each one (optional)

Recipe adapted from its raining hot coupons

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Monday, August 19, 2013

For the Safety of your Children- Please Hire Reliable Nanny & Sitters NOT Craigslist and Preteens.

I am sick to death about hearing horror stories of people who have left their children in the hands of unreliable, untrustworthy nannys/sitter and then something going wrong. Make sme shudder. It's so hard to know who to trust with your kids these days!  Please don't try a random stranger or a craigslist ad.  Go through a reputable company like SitterCity.  They do background checks etc. so you don't have to. Please think of your child's safety. I'm including a coupon I found to make membership cheaper and easier on you. Everyone loves a discount! lol.

Until 9/30 you can get 30% off 3- month membership using coupon code 13SEPT30.

Useful info/tips on how to hire babysitters

Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring the Perfect Babysitter

Looking for the perfect sitter? Sittercity sitters have background checks, references and parent reviews. Try it now!

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Caramel Dumplings

  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Melt brown sugar and butter together over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add water, bring to boil. Boil a few minutes.

  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 TBSP softened butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c milk
Mix all ingredients to make batter.

Pre heat oven 400 degrees. Put the caramel syrup you made into a greased casserole dish.
Drop spoonfuls of batter into syrup. Bake for 20 minutes.

Easy peasy yappaneesy.

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Blue Cheese Bacon & Chive Kettle Nachos

When I lived in Louisville for a bit, there was a restaurant downtown called Red Star Tavern.  I went there for happy hour with a friend from work and she ordered Kettle Chips off the menu.  I thought to myself kettle chips?  Why would you order just kettle chips from a restaurant? WELL, these babies came out and the were mouthwatering amazingness.  What I hadn't realized is they would be drizzled in a blue cheese sauce, blue cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles and chives.  It was perfection.  I went there a few times just for these chips until one day.... they were CLOSED!  For good!  Where on earth was I going to find chips like that to that perfection?!  I was devastated.  I have searched high and low and have attempted to recreate it and failed.  Until now..  I made these last night.  I found a base recipe and worked on it from there.  These were the closest thing I've tasted to Red Star's amazing kettle chips.   If you like blue cheese, these are your chips!


Blue Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese; set a little aside to put on top
  • Good-quality store-bought kettle style potato chips
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Chives/Green Onion, chopped
  • Bacon
Garnish with crumbled bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and chives.


Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the flour & garlic powder and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, and continue whisking until thickened. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Add Parmesan and continue cooking for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little extra milk. 

I suggest cooking your bacon in the oven 20 min on 400 while you're making the sauce. 

Heat the kettle chips in the oven. Transfer warm chips to a plate. Drizzle with blue cheese sauce. Top with blue cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles, and fresh chopped chives.

This makes alot of sauce, which you can put in the fridge for later use.  Or you can half the recipe.

Since figuring out the recipe, I have made this 4 times!  LOVE IT.  I've been addicted since Red Star. 

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Friday, August 16, 2013

French Toast Roll Ups

A different type of french toast for breakfast. Or maybe a breakfasty appetizer to break from the norm.   These are them.   
8 slices white sandwich bread (the soft, fluffy type)
peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese, dulce de leche, cajeta or nutella
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter, for greasing the skillet
maple syrup, for serving
Trim the crust from the bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
Place about a teaspoon or 2 of your chosen filling an inch from one end of the bread spread out in a strip.
Roll the bread up and repeat until they're all filled.
In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.
In a separate bowl mix the sugar with the cinnamon.
In a skillet set over medium heat melt a tablespoon of butter.
Add the rolls to the egg turning to coat on all sides then place them in the pan seam side down. Cook in batches until golden brown, turning them to cook and brown on all sides.
Add butter to the pan as needed.

Add the hot rolls from the pan to the cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered in sugar.

Serve with maple syrup for dunking.

Next time, I may not put any filling in at all and have the classic tasting french toast in a rollup form.  I also might try powdered sugar next time instead of cinnamon/sugar mix.

recipe adapted from the girl who ate everything

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ramen Noodle Stir Fry (Cheap & Easy Dinners)

Yes this is a meal using Top Ramen. Another edition of Mrs. Scales CHEAP & EASY meals. :)   


1-2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 block of  ramen noodles
1 tsp Soy Sacue
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c frozen veggie mix
1 egg
1 tsp cooking oil (olive, sesame, vegatable)
seasoning salt, to taste
salt/pepper, to taste

First, cut up your boneless skinless chicken breast. 

On medium heat, put garlic and the tsp of oil in the frying pan or wok.

Toss your chicken in the pan with soy sauce, Worcestershire, frozen veggies, a couple dashes of seasoning salt.  Stir with wooden spoon.

While this is cooking and blending flavors, put a bowl of water in the microwave for 3 minutes.  When the 3 minutes is up you'll have boiling water, while still in the microwave add your block of noodles (break in half if you wish).  Turn microwave back on for another 2.5 min. This method makes the perfect consistency of noodles.. not soggy or puffy.

Back over to the pan - Once the veggies are almost cooked crack in the egg.  Stir again with wooden spoon or spatula to scramble the egg.

Back to the microwave - Your noodles should be done at this point.  Drain all the water from the bowl.  Use an oven mit, the bowl will be HOT.

Add the noodles and ramen seasoning packet to the pan/wok and stir it all up.  Add a little more oil if you need to and a little water (maybe a table spoon). 



Try also

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicken Satay

Prep time: 2 hours 10 minutes (due to marinade)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

  1. 1 TBSP creamy peanut butter
  2. 2 TBSP C low sodium soy sauce (definitely make sure you get low sodium, otherwise it’ll be a SALTY dish)
  3. 1/4 C lemon or lime juice
  4. 1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
  5. 1 TBSP curry powder
  6. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  8. 3 8oz boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  9. lime slices (optional)
  10. skewers

1. In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients 1 - 7. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
2. Preheat a grill to high heat (or a stove top on med-high heat)
3. Weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side. (or no skewers and put in a pan for 5 minutes each. Or longer to get nice crunch on the outside from the marinade)
4. Serve with lime slices (optional)
How much easier can that be? Mix it, chop it, throw it all together and go sit down for a few hours, because you have nothing else to do, right? Then 10 min into cooking, you’re done!

Serve with Thai Peanut Sauce.
recipe adapted from Keep the faith going 

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Thai Peanut Sauce

Looking for a very LOW COST thai peanut sauce?  Found this gem on Budget Bytes.  Tasty and goes quite perfectly with my chicken satay.

Total Cost: $1.75
Cost Per Serving: $0.22
Serves: 8 (1/4 cup ea.)

  • ¾ cup natural style peanut butter $0.82
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (optional) $0.16
  • ½ lime juice $0.17
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, grated (optional) $0.24 (or 1/8 tsp dried ginger)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.06 (or 1/2 tsp minced)
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce (rooster hot sauce) $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.03
  • ½ tsp sesame oil (optional) $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
  • ¼ bunch cilantro $0.17
  • ¼ – ½ cup water $0.00

  1. Make sure your natural style peanut butter is thoroughly mixed before measuring (you don’t want to get all oil or all solids). In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients except the sriracha sauce. Begin with only ¼ cup of water and add more until you get the consistency you want (I used ½ cup total). Add the sriracha sauce a little at a time (blending between) until it is to your desired heat (I used about ½ tsp).
  2. Enjoy the peanut sauce on salads, pasta or as a dipping sauce!

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Pot Pie Over Rice (Cheap & Easy)

Have no time?  No money? This is a fast, tasty meal that is easy on the pocketbook.

Stouffer's Pot Pie (turkey, chicken, ham & cheese,  whatever you feel like)
Cooked White Rice

  1. Cook pot pie.  These days you can do them in the microwave for 5 minutes.  If you prefer you can do yours in the oven according to the printed directions.

  2. Cook your rice according to package.  Minute rice or old fashioned rice that take 25 min to cook.. whichever you prefer.

  3. Dump your pot pie over your steamed white rice... doesnt have to be pretty.  Grab your fork and salt/pepper to taste and dig in!   Great for kids when running short on time.


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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Grilled veggies

So yum. Put veggies in a bag. Toss with parmesan, cayenne pepper, seasoning salt, minced garlic, and pepper. Wrap veggies in foil. Put on the grill for a half hour or until as tender as desired.

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