#BackyardBash Recipe: Lemon Bars

These lemon bars were absolutely divine! You can find the original recipe on the Egg Beaters website: Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup Fleischmann’s Original – stick
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters Original
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar {optional}

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in Fleischmann’s with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly into bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Beat Egg Beaters, lemon peel, lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 cup flour and the remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake 15 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Cut into 16 bars to serve. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

#BackyardBash Recipe: Braided Spaghetti Loaf

I’m going to admit right here and now that my version of this recipe did NOT turn out anything like the recipe you can find on the Chef Boyardee website. {Braided Spaghetti Loaf} Mine was an absolutely mess. But, man, did it taste good! I think the problem I had with mine was that I used the wrong kind of frozen bread. Living where we do, there really aren’t many options in our grocery stores, and the bread I used rose way too much during the cooking process. But, it still tasted really good, and my kids have already asked if we can have it again for dinner all the time. 🙂 {I’ll just need to find a different kind of dough to use.}

Ingredients

  • PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 loaf {1 pound} frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 2 cans {14.5 oz each} Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375*. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Roll dough into 14×11 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on baking sheet. Spread Spaghetti & Meatballs lengthwise down center third of dough to within 1/2 and inch of each short edge. Top spaghetti with mozzarella cheese.
  2. Cut sides of dough into 12 equal strips, almost to filling. To enclose filling, take a strip from each side, overlap in center, and pinch together. Continue with remaining strips. Press each end of the loaf together and fold under. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until dough is browned and spaghetti is hot. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into strips.

 

#BackyardBash Recipe: Greek Pasta Salad

You can find this recipe on the Ready Set Eat website: Greek Pasta Salad

This was such an easy recipe to make, and it was a huge hit. In fact, I liked it so much that I made more to take to VBS with us the next day!

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 Ounces Dry Rotini Pasta, uncooked.
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Wesson Canola Oil.
  • 2 tablespoons Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1 can {14.5 oz} Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano, undrained.
  • 2 cups diced, unpeeled, seeded cucumber
  • 1 can {2.25 oz} ripe olives, drained.
  • 1 package {3.5 oz} crumbled reduced fat feta cheese. {I used fat free feta, and no one but me even knew!}
  • Coarse ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together oil and mustard in large bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients, except pepper, until combined. Toss in cooled pasta. Sprinkle with pepper, as desired.

This is a quick and easy recipe, and it tastes great! It’s perfect for your next summertime barbeque.

Amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

It’s no secret, I love chocolate. And, since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I had an excuse to make some sweets for all my sweeties.

Thanks to Pinterest, I happened across this recipe. It sounded amazing, and I decided I would change things up a bit and make the recipe my own.

Here’s my version:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

 Cake Ingredients: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix. {I used Devil’s Food Cake}
2 Pints Mayfield Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream
2 Tablespoons Milk

Topping Ingredients:
1 16 ounce Can of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
1/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to temperature recommended on the cake mix box. Mix together the cake mix, the ice cream, and the milk. Stir until moist. {My batter was quite thick and lumpy.} Spread into a greased and floured 9×13 pan {or any size pan you prefer}, and bake according to the directions on the cake mix box. {Remember – you don’t need the oil, egg, or anything else. Just the ingredients listed above.}

When the cake is finished baking, and a toothpick comes out clean, allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Pour the entire can of Hershey’s syrup over the top of the cake. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave, and drizzle it over the top of the cake. With a knife, swirl the peanut butter and chocolate topping together.

This was a HUGE hit with my kids and my husband last night, and it was so easy!

I think I’ve found my new dessert to take to church dinners. 🙂

Mrs. Dash is Still Spicing Things Up!

Every few months since December, I’ve been keeping you all updated on some major diet changes I’ve made around here. Those changes started with cutting out salt from many of my favorite dishes and substituting in Mrs. Dash seasonings instead. It’s been 9 months now, and I find myself reaching for Mrs. Dash every time I want to season something. I rarely use salt any more in any of my recipes. Mrs. Dash offers so many different blends that it’s easy to find exactly the taste I’m craving.

This summer, we grilled out a lot. I have become quite a pro at using the grill, and Mrs. Dash helps make everything so much better. Even the kids will tell you how much they love my chicken and pork chops seasoned with Mrs. Dash.

I also want to share a recipe with you. I’ve actually made this dish so many times that I don’t even have to look at the recipe any more. It’s a favorite with the kids, too, and everyone loves when they hear that we’re having chicken & potatoes for dinner. {Note: I double the recipe every time, and it always turns out great! Also, I’ve tried it with other seasonings besides the Onion & Herb blend. Most work really well. Ashley likes it best with the Italian Blend, and hubby likes it best with the Garlic & Herb blend. I just like it.}

Savory Chicken with Potatoes

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 34-35 min
Ready In: 45 min

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 medium-sized  red potatoes (skin on), cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Mix potatoes with 1 Tbsp. each of olive oil and Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend.
3. Place in a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Toss chicken breasts with remaining olive oil and Mrs. Dash® Onion & Herb Blend. Arrange chicken breasts in pan with potatoes.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, turning chicken after 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cover lightly with foil for 3-4 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 356
Total Fat: 10g
Trans Fat: 0g
Sodium: 84mg
Potassium: 1253mg
Total Carbohydrates: 34g
Protein: 31g

I absolutely love Mrs. Dash, and I am thrilled with how much my cooking has improved since I started on this campaign. {My husband is thrilled too!} I’ll continue to use Mrs. Dash when I’m cooking, and would encourage anyone who wants to cut salt from their diet to do the same.

To read my other posts about using Mrs. Dash in my family’s diet, scroll down to the “Also Check Out – ” section directly under this post.

Would you consider using Mrs. Dash seasonings instead of salt in your recipes?

To see all the flavors of Mrs. Dash seasoning, and to find more yummy recipes, check out www.MrsDash.comMrs. Dash Seasonings

and don’t forget to become a fan of Mrs. Dash on Facebook!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Mrs. Dash and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Top Secret Recipe – Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

I am about to share my super top-secret recipe with you. You all know I can’t cook much, but one thing I do know how to make is chicken n’ dumplin’s. Chicken & DumplingsThis is by far my most favorite meal on earth. The only reason I don’t make it more often, (aside from the fact that it just can’t be good for me), is that clean-up is a nightmare. Oh, and it takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to make the chicken because I make so much.

One thing I do differently than most places that serve chicken and dumplings is that I keep them separate. I hate, hate, hate when the chicken is shredded and mixed in with the dumplings. Completely ruins the entire taste of everything. So, by frying up the chicken on the side, I get the best of both worlds. Chicken. And dumplings.

So, are you ready for my super fabulous recipe?

I’m afraid I don’t really have a written recipe for the chicken for you to follow. I once read somewhere that the best chefs don’t need measurements and recipes, they just know what goes into the dish. Now, I’m definitely not a top chef, but that’s kind of how this goes. So, I’ll just tell you what I do, and you can mess with it at your will.

For the Chicken:

I usually use 12 boneless skinless chicken breasts. (But, like I said, I make a TON of chicken every time.) To feed 4 people, you would probably be fine with 4 – 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Trim the fat, and then cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. (Just don’t make them too small, or you’ll be frying chicken all day.) You’ll also need 2 regular sized bowls. Fill one with milk, add in 2 eggs, and salt and pepper. Mix it all together with a fork or wisk until the eggs are beaten. In the second bowl, you’ll need flour, salt, and pepper.

Now, get ready to get messy.

Fried ChickenTake a piece of chicken, drop it in the milk and egg mix, pull it out, roll it in the flour mix. Repeat. (I always do this twice to each piece because it makes the batter thicker.) Set aside. Do this with 10 – 12 pieces of chicken. Then, drop batter-covered chicken, one piece at a time, into a 340* deep fryer. Fry until golden brown (usually 5 – 8 minutes). Remove from fryer, drop into a paper-towel-lined bowl or dish, and salt and pepper to taste. Do this with all of your chicken that you’ve cut up. (Also, be sure to add more milk and flour to your bowls as necessary. And, another tip: I usually coat more chicken while there’s chicken in the fryer. Helps me get done faster.

You can serve the chicken hot or cold. It’s great both ways. I always make enough so that I can have cold fried chicken for breakfast the next morning. Mmmmmm.

Now, for the dumplings. I actually have a recipe for these!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large can chicken broth

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl, and kneed together until a lump of dough is formed. Drop dough onto floured surface and roll out until 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Cut into long strips, then cut into smaller rectangle shapes. (Or, let the kids use cookie cutters. My kids *love* doing that.) Take individual dumplings and flatten, covering with flour to keep them dry.
  • Drop dumplings into boiling chicken broth. They’ll cook fast, usually takes less than 7 minutes. Dumplings will start to float to the top when they’re finished.

Then, scoop out some dumplings (with broth, if desired), add some chicken to the side, and enjoy!

Normally, I double – or even triple the dumpling recipe because we have so many people, and because they reheat well. This meal will usually last us 2 – 3 days, and no one ever complains about eating leftovers.

Have you ever had chicken and dumplings? Gonna give this recipe a try?

Family Taco Night with Old El Paso #Giveaway

This giveaway will end Wednesday, Jan. 5th at 11:59pm EST.

Family taco night is my favorite night. Tacos are the one food I can make where everyone is happy, and no one complains. We try to have family taco night once a week, but with things being so crazy right now, it’s been more like once every two weeks. That doesn’t matter, though, as long as we’re together for dinner, and get to eat tacos at some point, all is well.

The only taco seasoning I will buy for my family is Old El Paso. I love all the options they have. I tend to use their cheesy seasoning the most often, because it’s the most mild, and to change things up a bit, I’ll use the mild taco seasoning. (We’re not spicy-loving people, and I love that Old El Paso caters to mild-loving folks like us!) Old El Paso has all the dinner kits, chilies, dips and sides, sauces, shells, salsas, and seasonings that you could possibly need to make family taco night fabulous for everyone in your family!

Want to try something new on your next family taco night? Why not try one of these fabulous recipes?

  • Double Layer Tacos
    Old El Paso Favorite Recipe! Layered taco shells and tortillas create the “double” in beef- and bean-stuffed tacos.
  • Chicken Ranch Tacos
    Need a new idea for a 30-minute dinner? Here’s a twist on ta cos using precooked chicken.

And if you really want to spice things up and get everyone at the table laughing, have some fun with the world’s only family taco night game: El Tacodor, full of trivia, wordplay, and pantomime. My kids have a ball whenever we play El Tacodor! To learn more, download instructions, a score card, and a challenge sheet, head to www.ElTacodor.com.

If you want news, great tips, recipes, and much more, visit the Old El Paso website. While you’re there, why not share family fiesta photos and videos from your family taco nights on the El Tacodor Family Spotlight!

And if you like to save money, you can visit http://www.myblogspark.com/uc/main/b069/to download a printable coupon for $0.60 off any two Old El Paso products! It’s a great coupon, since all of the Old El Paso products are so reasonably priced!

Want to start a new tradition and have family taco night at your house?

MyBlogSpark, Old El Paso, and I want to make that happen. I’ve got an Old El Paso prize pack to give away to one winner. Here’s what you’ll get: a packet of original Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving Dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper Serving dishes, and a $10 gift card to purchase all your taco fixings. We’re going to make family taco night loads of fun!

To Enter

Mandatory: Leave a comment and tell me this: Do you have a family taco night already? If so, what’s your favorite part? If not, what aspect of family taco night appeals most to you?
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to Blessed Beyond Words and the Old El Paso website.(5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of Blessed Beyond Words on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Old El Paso on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow Blessed Beyond Words and Old El Paso on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

Please note: I had originally asked you to write on the wall of the Old El Paso Facebook page and let them know that you were entering the contest here. I’ve been informed that this is spam, and asked not to do so by a representative of Old El Paso. I apologize for any inconvenience, but please don’t write on their wall. I had no idea it was spam. Live and learn.

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. If you still have the old 5 Vinez Monkeys button on your blog, please switch it to the new Blessed Beyond Words button or your extra entry will not count. Giveaway will end on January 5th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via the “And the Winner is..” plugin. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Old El Paso. I was sent the necessary products to facilitate my honest and thorough review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post. Sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Chex Party Mix – Makes Parties Fun! #Giveaway

This giveaway will end Sunday, Jan. 2nd at 11:59pm EST.

I love holiday parties. Gathering with friends and family, reminiscing about the old days. It’s great! And at most holiday parties through the years, I remember Chex Party Mix being served. It’s the perfect snack food, and I can never keep my hand out of the bowl when there’s Chex Party Mix around.

It starts with crunchy Chex cereal, and in just 15 minutes, you can have your choice of delicious mouth-watering party mix ready to serve to all your guests. Whether you’re having just a few friends over, or if you’ve invited half your neighborhood to your home for a large holiday bash, Chex Party Mix is the perfect snack to impress everyone that attends.

I love all the different varieties you can make – sweet, salty, even spicy. There’s something for every taste and every taste bud! There are even 4 gluten-free varieties of Chex cereal so that even your party guests with gluten restrictions can enjoy the yummy taste of Chex Party Mix recipes. (Please note: Multi-Bran and Wheat Chex are not gluten-free.)

Right now at your local Walmart, you can find free recipe cards for Chex Lemon Buddies, Chex Apple pie Snack Mix, and Tex Chex Party Mix. Each of these recipes are sure to become instant crowd pleasers, and your guests will be begging you for the recipe! (Makes you feel great when no one ever asks you for your recipes… like me!) Also be sure to check out the Chex website for some really great Chex Party Mix recipes.

Myblogspark recently sent me a box of Rice Chex, a measuring cup set, and a fabulous tote bag so that I could make some Chex Party Mix recipes of my own and let friends and family put them to the test! I ended up making the Chex Muddy Buddies. Oh.My.Word. I had intended to make these for a church get-together, but after trying a handful, I decided it needed to stay at home. Luckily, the rest of the family agreed with me. Not that it was hard to convince them… I loved how easy the recipe was to make, and how wonderful it was to just use things I already had on hand! And the taste…. mmmmmm…. satisfied every chocolately craving I had!

With Christmas just around the corner… and then New Year’s, be sure to stock up on Chex Mix now so that you can have lots of options to serve your guests!

Want to win a Chex Party Mix Prize Pack?

MyBlogSpark and Chex have offered up a Chex Party Mix Prize Pack to one of my readers. You’ll receive a box of Rice Chex, a Measuring Cup Set, and a Tote Bag.

To Enter

Mandatory: Tell me one Chex Party Mix Recipe you’d love to try. (You can find some options here.)
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to Blessed Beyond Words and the Chex website.(5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of Blessed Beyond Words on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Chex Mix on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow Blessed Beyond Words on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. If you still have the old 5 Vinez Monkeys button on your blog, please switch it to the new Blessed Beyond Words button or your extra entry will not count. Giveaway will end on January 2nd at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via the “And the Winner is..” plugin. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Chex. I was sent the necessary products to facilitate my honest and thorough review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post. Sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.