Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RECIPE - Chili Lime Chicken Wings

I love chicken wings, but I cant stand buffalo sauce, so this is a great recipe for me! When I worked at the hospital, we had food days all the time, and my friend would always bring these chicken wings...they are too die for!  Not hot, but just a tiny bit of spice, with a big tang of lime....and they aren't fried!  So good.....one batch just isnt enough!


1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
3 tablespoons olive oil
several limes, cut into wedges

Recipe yield: About 14 pieces !  In a small bowl, combine all your spices.  If you like individual drummettes cut your wings up.  Arrange the wings in a baking pan, and brush them with the olive oil. Now sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over your wings.   Roast at 375°F (190°C) for at least 45 minutes, and an hour isn't likely to hurt. You want them crispy!   Or, if you have a rotisserie with a basket, that's a great way to cook these, as well.  Serve hot, with wedges of lime to squeeze over the wings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RECIPE - Perfect For This Fall Day - Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

This morning when I woke up, I didn't give much thought to the temperature or the weather.  I got up as usual and got ready for my work day..wearing a pair of jeans and a summer blouse.  Around 11 oclock I left the house for the first time and was pleasantly surprised to feel that first cool snap in the air that Fall has to offer!  It didn't take long for the weather to put me in the mood of coming back home, changing into an oversized sweatshirt, and settling in for a lazy Fall day.  My husband was fairly displeased with the weather, as he prefers the Summer and as much heat as he can find!  Winters are difficult for him, as he does not tolerate the cold very well.  Not surprising....he's a California boy!

Fall and Spring are my two most favorite seasons...not too cold...not too hot....just right.  We go through summer wanting to get out of the house every chance we get.  We enjoy being outside...in the water...soaking up the sun...and at my house that means being away from the house as much as possible.  But in the Fall...something in the air flips a switch inside of me.  All of a sudden...I'm no longer interested in being out of the house.  It makes me ready to buy pumpkins and carve them, set out pots of Mums on the front porch, make Fall wreaths for my door, rake leaves, put on a pot of stew, and bake lots of yummy goodies that you dont even think about in the Spring or Summer!  Fall gets here and all of a sudden I feel like Suzie-Q the Homemaker!

I had been pondering these very things in my mind the whole time I was laying in the orthodontist's chair.  There are full length windows all the way around the office, so while I was laying there waiting for the orthodontist to come in, I could see the mist falling and the trees blowing....and I thought it was sort of strange that the weather is already changing and it's only the middle of September.  I can remember back to years when I was still wearing shorts at the end of October!  Anyhow....I left my orthodontist appointment, drove home and stopped at the mailbox to get the mail before going inside to work.

Coincidence?  Accident?  A sign from someone that I need to cook more?  LOL  Who knows....but it was so odd that in my mailbox today was a COOKBOOK entitled "Fall Favorites" from Gooseberry Patch....that I had NOT ordered.  I thought to myself that it must belong to someone else and it was put into my mailbox accidently...but when I flipped it over...there was my name stamped on the back.  COOL...I love cookbooks, although my husband does a lot of the cooking right now because of my work and school schedule.  If it were left up to me to get dinner going...we would be eating every night at about 11 oclock! I flipped through it and found tons of great recipes...yummy stuff that will be perfect for this Fall and Winter season.  I'll be sure to continue sharing them with you.  Here is one of the first ones that I intend to try.  Can't you just picture yourself sitting on the couch, all curled up in something cozy...savoring EVERY bite of this lusciousness?  LOL   I certainly can!  If you try this, please shoot me a message to let me know how it turned out! Thanks

3/4 cup Washington apples, chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 T. butter
2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups thickly sliced bread, cubed
1/3 cup Sun-Maid raisins (or you can use currants as well)

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine dried apples and water in a medium saucepan.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes until the aopples are very soft and the water is absorbed.  Stir in the brown sugar and butter.  Reduce heat.  Cook and stir until the apples are coated and the mixture is syrupy, about 3 minutes.  Spread evenly in a lightly buttered 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in the bread cubes and  raisins (or currants).  Pour over apple mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Serve warm with caramel topping. 

To make the caramel topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the brown sugar, cream and corn syrup until smooth.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Top the bread pudding with as much of the caramel topping as you would like.  Recipe makes about 6 servings of bread pudding.

RECIPE - Cheddar Garlic Biscuits (Just Like at Red Lobster)

If any of you have been to Red Lobster, then you know how yummy, satisfying and addictive their Cheddar Bay Biscuits are!  I would rather eat a salad and the biscuits there than anything else on the menu! 

I live in a rural town and the nearest Red Lobster is about 35 miles from here.  So when I get a craving for one of these yummy biscuits, I dont always have the opportunity or time to just hop in the car and go out for a meal.  So I started looking up recipes on the internet to see if I could find anything at all close to these biscuits...after all...they are sort of unique in character and flavor.

I ran across this website that specializes in trying to "copy" signature dishes from well known restaurants....restaurants that would never give out their "secret recipes".  I couln't believe it when I found this recipe.  It tastes exactly like Red Lobster's version too.  Actually, I've had this recipe for a long time and haven't used it lately.  Ran across it as I was looking through my recipes.  I think it's time to make up a batch!  Hope you enjoy!

2-1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 cups milk
4 Tablespoons butter (or 1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add the Bisquick and butter, leaving small chunks of butter once it is all mixed together.  Add cheese, milk and garlic.  Mix by hand.  Drop 1/4 cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet using a spoon or ice cream scoop.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Brush the butter mixtuer on top as soon as they come out of the oven.  This recipe makes one dozen biscuits.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Save Money - Use Homemade Laundry Detergent

Before I even address you, let me tell you that the pictures at the top of this blog are the ingredients that you will need for this recipe.  Most people probably dont just keep these items in their house and they aren't items that you would typically use daily (not most people anyway).  The Fels-Naptha soap at the top can be found at IGA for less than $1.50.  The Borax in the middle can be found at IGA or Walmart for less than $4.50.  The Arm and Hammer Washing Soad can be found at IGA for about $4.00 (this is not baking soda...and I had no luck finding at Walmart).  Okay...so now that we've got that clear....on with the blogt1

Well anyone reading this who knows me, knows that I'm a fulltime nursing student. That means I've cut back my work hours, which means that I dont have as much money as I normally would have had. So, with that situation...ontop of our already horrible economy...I've become thrifty. Seriously...why run out and throw away good money on things if you dont have too...especially if you dont have it!?

Honestly, when I was first given this idea, I was very leary. Never had I heard of this...never had I tried it. I was the QUEEN of Walmart and all the conveniences it had to offer me! LOL But, I finally broke down and tried it....and after using it for a while now....I can't believe I threw away ALL THAT MONEY for ALL THOSE YEARS!!! Seriously...I will never buy store bought laundry detergent or fabric softner again!

I was given this recipe as well as many others which I will share with you later...and I personally use this very recipe on a daily basis. It works well, removes all the stains I've run across, and does not leave any residue in your clothing. This is also a perfect laundry detergent to use if your family has sensitive skin or suffers from allergies to your laundry detergents. Its very simple. Here are the things that you will need, which are VERY inexpensive and will last you forever....you will be able to make dozens of batches of this detergent with only an initial investment of about $10.00.

One 5-gallon bucket with a lid
2 cups of hot tap water
1/2 bar of Fels-Naptha bar of soap
1/4 cup borax
1/2 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA)

Okay, here's where the fun starts! Take the bar of soap and cut it in half (Put the other half of it away for the next batch you make). Get a cheese grater and grate it up. If you dont have a grater, just cut it up in as tiny peices as you can get it into. Add the grated soap and the 2 cups of hot tap water into a saucepan and stir it constantly over low heat until it is completely melted. If you do not get it melted, your detergent will not mix well once it is completed. Next, put 2-1/2 gallons of very hot tap water into your 5 gallon bucket. Add the borax, washing powder, and the melted soap. Stir until completely dissolved. Add 2-1/2 more gallons of very hot tap water to your 5 gallon bucket and stir once more, making sure it is thoroughly mixed. The soap will just look very runny and watery, but the longer it sits and cools, it will thicken to a goopy jelly like consistency. This is normal.

Typically, as soon as it is mixed up, I go ahead and fill my jugs (I use empty milk jugs) because it is a little harder to fill them once the detergent has gelled up (its do-able but just takes more time to fill them after its gelled). If you are using it right out of the bucket each time, you might want to stir it up before you use it. If you are using it out of a milk jug each time, I usually hold the cap tight and give it a good shake before I pour it into the wash. I use 1/2 cup for a regular load of laundry and 3/4 cup if its really soiled. Also....because of the borax...the detergent will NOT suds up in the water. Dont let that fool you....it cleans your clothing well and removes stains!

Now, heres the savings part. I used to use the ALL brand of laundry detergent. A 1 quart bottle would cost me $4.00. There are 4 quarts in a gallon, which would total $16.00 for one gallon of detergent....IF I were buying it from the store!

For a $10.00 investment, we bought enough Fels soap to make TEN GALLONS (2 batches), and enough washing soda and borax to make....MANY MANY batches of detergent. With the recipe above, we just made 5 gallons of detergent! If we bought that much of the store brand name kind over time...I would have spent approximately $80.00 on detergent alone! I will never buy detergent in the store again. Please feel free to use this recipe and I would love to hear back from you on whether you liked it or not. Have a blessed day and I hope you enjoy my blogs!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome To My Blog!

Good morning everyone! Welcome to my new blog! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Dawna, I'm a 41 year old lady who is a fairly new empty nester.  I am also a full time nursing student...working part time while in school...so I enjoy finding ways to stretch my dollar and save my pennies!  Why spend it if I dont have to right?  LOL  I'm the laady in the picture above that's holding that baby!  The baby is my grandson Connor, and the younger girl next to me is my daughter Lacy (Connor's mommy).  I also have an older stepdaughter Sarah who will be giving us another grandson in January of 2010.  I also have one son Tyler, and one stepson Vincent....all of which are grown and doing their own things!  Oh and lets not forget my husband John, who is a wonderful husband and father.  He treats me so well...and respects my feelings and opinions.  So happy to have him and the family that came along with him....in my life!  They are all truly genuine and good people!  Well I hope you enjoy my blog...you just never know what you might read about here!  LOL  Have a blessed day.....peace, love and light to you all!