Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chicken Hawaiian Haystacks

I must be on a rice kick or something. All I want to make are recipes including rice. Why is that? Well this Hawaiian Haystacks recipe is good for all the right reasons, one of which is that you can make it how you want it. Each person's plate looks a little bit different because you get to decide what goes on top! As you can see, I like mine with a cherry on the top! :)

Hawaiian Haystacks are a great meal when you have a crowd coming over....just make more rice, and more toppings! 


Toppings for Hawaiian Haystacks can include any kinds of cut up fruits and veggies! 
The last few days have felt like semi-summer weather with temps in the 60s. It was fun to go out and play kickball with my 2nd graders in the SUNSHINE! I was SO over the freezing cold and windy temps of last week. I had recess duty a week ago during the day AND after school and it was snowing and super WINDY. My umbrella that I was holding kept doing the backward blow up thing and then would almost send me down the street like Mary Poppins. It was embarrassing!  Just call me Mary.  So I long for the white beaches and sun and unfettered relaxation of a Hawaiian Island.

I love the crunch these chow mein noodles add...

Add Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, milk and spice it up with Lawrys or Salt and Pepper....that's it! 

I like slivered almonds to top my Hawaiian Haystacks....

The kids love coconut....
Have to have a cherry on top!  Or a handful! 

But since I can't wrangle that for now, I can at least eat yummy food with the taste of Hawaii in it.  This recipe is easy, quick and really yummy.  And it's a great choice if you have to feed an army or a crowd at a party.
I diced up some cooked carrots..... chow mein noodles and slivered almonds....

And lots of fresh fruit and veggies.....

The hubs likes my Hawaiian haystacks........that sounds a little weird saying it out loud though......hehe...

So here are the easy ingredients for the basic chicken mixture that goes over rice.  Then the toppings are whatever you decide you want to add. I use one of those veggie and dip platters when I'm doing it for a crowd. You can find them at the dollar store for.....well.....A DOLLAR!  I use them when I'm doing cookie decorating in my classroom too. They are very versatile for putting out little piles of stuff.



HAWAIIAN HAYSTACKS RECIPE
Here is the Chicken base all mixed up....then I just microwave it to warm it ...

RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Hawaiian Haystacks
2 cans cream of chicken soup  (or use large family sized can)
3  chicken breasts diced
1 t. salt  (or Lawry's Season Salt)
1/8 t. pepper  
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 to 1 cup of milk 
3  cups Steamed Rice

My finished plate of Hawaiian Haystacks....a work of art really!  
DIRECTIONS
Boil the chicken and dice up.  Mix soup, salt and pepper, milk and sour cream and milk. 
I boiled 3 chicken breasts with a handful of carrots.....

Cook rice until tender. I have a rice cooker so I added around 2 1/2 cups.  Put soup mixture on top of rice and top with any or all of the following:

Toppings: Canned pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, grated cheese, slivered almonds, chopped red pepper, celery, olives, diced tomatoes, chow mein noodles.


Veggie and fruit toppings for the Hawaiian Haystacks can be as varied as what you can find to cut up from your fridge and then add a few canned fruits and maybe some dried fruits and nuts too....


Well, now he's just acting like Vanna White...he's such a tease! 
 It's really filling, and everybody can pick their own preferences for toppings. That makes it even more of a fun meal. You can see my husband is having fun doing his own toppings...LOL.  Actually I made him pose...he's just a good sport. :O

He doesn't like the fruit as much....he's more of a veggie man....

He does like the almonds and the white grated mozzarella cheese....


Hawaiian Haystacks...My plate is still prettier than the hubs....just sayin........

This recipe for Hawaiian Haystacks is a KEEPER!   Enjoy!  










Friday, March 21, 2014

Luscious Lemon Meringue Pie


I LOVE lemon meringue pie. I bought a few lemons last week on a whim and now I had to do something with them ....

Soooooo......I decided to make a LEMON MERINGUE PIE! yUmMLy!!! 
Doesn't it look good? Well it all started with a few lemons.....

So I squeezed them and zested them!  SLURP! 
Mixed them up with egg yolks and sugar SWEET! and cooked them!

And poured them in a pie shell I baked up....

Ingredients

1 finished pie crust (I use real butter in mine)

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 egg YOLKS ONLY (Separate the whites and set aside)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Then I whipped up the 4 egg whites....
Meringue 
4 egg WHITES ONLY (be sure no yolk gets in)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, salt, and water on high heat and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water and whisk adding it into boiling sugar mixture. Stir until thick and clear and take off stove. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice and little at a time whisk egg yolk mixture into hot sugar mixture. Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and butter last. 
Let it set till you are ready with meringue. Pudding should still be semi warm.




Meringue


Boy it sure made a lot of meringue! 

Then I topped the pie with the fluffy stuff and baked it! 
Mix the 4 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a clear glass bow and whip it up till it looks kind of foamyl. Be sure nothing extra gets into the egg whites or they won't peak. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar as you whip till it forms stiff peaks. Add a little 1/2 cup of meringue to your lemon pudding. Then pour it into a pie shell that has been cooked. Add the rest of the meringue to the top of the pie up to crust edges. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 10 or so  minutes until peaks look golden brown.  Set it set for 1 hour before serving.   




And it turned out pretty! 
And it was delicious too.  Yummly!   SO...... That's what I did today! 





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Decor and Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Well, it's the Irish holiday of St. Patrick's Day almost upon us.....I decorated a bit.
I love the cute little leprechaun my class made a few years ago out of laminating empty rolls....they were cute! And look at that awesome tablecloth I actually sewed myself! Yeah, I rock just a little bit on that machine. lol.

Some of my favorite March St. Patrick's Day story books I read to the kiddos. 

 I love the holiday full of rainbows. I taught the kids all about ROY G. BIV. That is the clown who reminds us of the rainbow color order.  Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. I just mix up indigo and violet and call it purple instead. Then they do a pot of gold with a 1 inch x 12 inch strip of each of the 6 colors and glue them on the back of a pot. We add fake coins glittered to the top.
We made Leprechauns, March Book Reports and some Leprechaun similes and pots of gold. 


I loved this arrangement on my dining room table. I have a green, painted basket full of leprechaun napkins on the table. 
My classroom St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board we just finished today at school. I love how it turned out with all these pots of gold and Leprechauns! Check out my classroom blog HERE at Patties Classroom.

My front entry room table decorated up with St. Patrick's Holiday stuff. 

I love this picture of 2 of my granddaughters from Chuck E. Cheese of all places! 
PEANUT BUTTER CAKE AND ICING - I made a chocolate cake and put some peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and milk together and topped it all with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups on top. How decadent is that? Yum. It was really great.  HERE is a link to Food.com's recipe for the peanut butter icing. It is to die for, really, truly. 


I love this story The Luckiest Leprechaun! 
Coffee Table with Happy St. Patrick's Day decor at my house. 

I love this holiday. It is fun to get out all the green stuff for March. I'm glad Easter is late this year so we get a whole month to enjoy the Irish stuff. Kiss me I'm Irish!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole (with pecan crunch topping)

I went to a class the other night on making your own mixes and seasoning packets for ranch dressings, tacos, and spaghetti sauce. The gal gave a few good tips that I want to pass on. 

For her chicken she goes to Costco and buys 4 rotisserie chickens every 3 weeks or so. Then she just pulls the chicken pieces off and puts them in baggies and freezes them for recipes. So easy! 
I also love her idea for listing the menus on her inside pantry chalkboard contact paper. On the other side she lists missing ingredients she needs to buy. Smart idea!   Check out her blog HERE.
The other great idea was she puts her dinner fixings into a bin and she keeps 3 bins lined up in her pantry at all times. That way if she is missing an ingredient for something coming up for dinner in a few days she can get it restocked in her pantry before it comes up. Then when it is dinner time she just grabs one of the bins and starts dinner having all her ingredients on hand. What a cool idea! 
This is a similar idea from Life With Both Hands Full's blog. She puts mixes in her bins. But I do love the dinner ingredients in a bin idea too! How simple that would make it, no standing in front of the fridge just staring with that dazed and confused look! 
Anyway, here is a yummy recipe for a dinner side dish, that we don't make often enough. She had made some sweet potato chips that had a New Orleans hot rub sprinkled on them. They were so yummy. I'll have to try them this week! 

Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients:
4 cups sweet potato, mashed
1/4 c white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t salt
4 T butter, melted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 t vanilla extract
topping:
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
4 T butter, softened
1 c chopped pecans
Place canned, or baked and mashed  sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour into 9 x 13 glass pan.
Sweet Potato Casserole - great for Sunday dinner with almost anything! Yummy! 
 In another bowl mix topping ingredients and sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 or until topping is light brown. 
This always makes a delicious side dish that goes great with chicken, beef, turkey or pork! Yummy! Next I'm trying Sweet Potato Chips! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Breakfast Burritos with Sausage and Peppers

A fun breakfast for Presidents Day  is Sausage Breakfast Burritos. 


It is easy to shred and chop lots of fillings and lay them out in colorful bowls for your guests to just  make their own burrito the way they like it!
chopped tomatoes

shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 of a Jimmy Dean sausage 1 pound chub.....we had leftovers so I froze it in a freezer bag. 
Scrambled eggs with red peppers......

All the fixins for Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos 

I use fried up and crumbled Jimmy Dean sausage and scrambled eggs with red peppers, some cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and top with salsa or sour cream.
honeydew melon 

Breakfast Burritos are a fun holiday treat!
Now I just have to decide if I'll accomplish anything today! Yum. 

Warm up the tortillas in the microwave and cut up some fruits for side dishes.  Then pour some orange juice and dig in!




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