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Author: Shirley

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CHips and Gauc 3

Homemade Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

CHips and Gauc

Homemade Baked Corn Tortilla Chips: Preparing food from scratch is always the healthiest option, but with some things it doesn’t seem possible. I set out to see if I could make corn tortilla chips from scratch. Yes opening a bag of chips and pouring into a bowl would have been a lot easier, but where is the challenge in that!

dough ingredients

Corn Tortilla Ingredients:
2 cups Instant Corn Masa Flour
1-2 cups hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Prep

Items needed if you do not have a tortilla press:
Rolling pin
Flat bottomed object (bowl or plate 7” diameter)
Parchment paper
Skillet (cast iron works well)
Small bowl of cold water

mixing dough

Place the Masa in a mixing bowl and dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of hot water. Slowly pour the water over the flour mixing as you pour.  You can start mixing with a spoon, you will need to use your hands to get it thoroughly mixed.

dough mix

Continue to mix the dough with your hands and knead it in the bowl for about 2 minutes until you can form a smooth ball that is not sticky or crumbly.  Add more hot water 1 tablespoon at a time to help form the dough.  I used about 1 1/4 cups of water to get my dough just right.

When the dough is just right it will have a texture similar to Play-Doh.  It should not feel sticky, dry, or gritty.  If the dough is sticky, incorporate more flour into the mixture and more water if it is too dry.  Add water and or flour slowly.

directions

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to absorb the moisture.  Do not skip this step!

dough balls

After the dough has rested section the ball in half, and then in half again, until you have 16 similarly sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball covering with a towel as you roll them out. Place one ball between a folded piece of parchment paper, place plate on top and push down to flatten the dough. The dough should be about 6 inches in diameter and less than 1/8 inch thick. You may need to use a rolling pin to get the dough flat enough. Roll in different directions to help keep the round shape.

Chips Homemade

Peel the dough off the parchment and place on a smaller piece of parchment. Continue this process for all dough balls using a piece of parchment paper between each tortilla. Cover your rolled tortillas with a towel as you work.

If your tortillas are not perfectly round you can cut the edges using a small bowl as a guide. Since I was going to make chips I skipped this step.

Chips 1

Preheat your skillet to medium high. Cook your tortillas for 1 minute per side. Be sure to adjust your heat as needed. The cooked tortillas should still be soft and roll easily. If they crack when rolled then they are overcooked.

Now it’s time to make your chips!

You will need:
Cooked corn tortillas
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil each tortilla on both sides using a pastry brush and sprinkle with salt.

chips

Cut each tortilla into 4 segments and place on the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and crispy. I found mine were best when baked for 12 minutes. The chips continue to crisp up as they cool.

Chips baking

We enjoyed ours with some homemade guacamole.The entire process took about 2 1/2 hours with the resting time, so this is something you definitely need to plan out. I would give my chips a 7 on a scale of 1-10. The tortillas that were rolled out the thinnest made for the lightest and crispiest chips. I am sure with a little practice I could perfect the process. I am thinking about getting myself a tortilla press to help me perfect the process. 

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Do you have a favorite homemade snack that your family loves to make? Comment below or share on our Facebook page we would love to hear from you.

Kool aid Eggs

How to Dye Easter Eggs with Kool Aid

Kool Aid Easter Eggs Weve Tried It DIY

How to Dye Easter Eggs with Kool Aid: It’s almost Easter! We were looking for a different way to dye our eggs this year and decided to give using Kool-Aid packets a try. This method was so easy and really gave the eggs a vibrant color.

Easter Egg dying

Easter Egg Kool Aid project

Get your kiddos involved! Simply mix the Kool-Aid packets with 2/3 cup of water and stir. We let our eggs soak for about 10 minutes. It was surprising how quickly the eggs took the color. You could soak them for less time to achieve lighter shades.

The Kool-Aid packets that we purchased at County Market in Hudson, WI, were 5 for $1.00. Cheap enough to experiment with all the colors. I was wondering if the eggs were going to pick up any of the Kool-Aid flavor, but rest assured they did not.

Do you have any interesting Easter egg dying tricks? Comment below we would love to hear from you and maybe we will even give them a try.

Another cute Easter idea: Deviled Egg Chicks – Super cute and easy to make. Your family will love them!

Deviled Egg Chicks 350

Deviled Egg Chicks Recipe

Deviled Egg Chicks

Deviled Egg Chicks Recipe: Looking for an egg-citing appetizer for your Easter celebration? Hatching deviled egg chicks may be just the thing. These little cuties taste as good as they look and are oh so easy to make.

Directions:

Start by making hard boiled eggs. Let them cool and peel. Next slice a thin layer off the bottom of the egg so the chicks can stand up.

Egg

Halfway down the egg slice through in a zigzag pattern around the egg to create the tops. Place the yolks into mixing bowl for filling.

Eggs Sliced

Make your deviled egg filling as desired. We like ours simple with just a little bit of mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper.

Place the mixture into a Ziploc bag, snip the end off and pipe into the egg white bottoms. Gently place the tops on the eggs and decorate with peppercorns or diced black olives for eyes and a small piece of carrot or pimento for the nose.

Eggs Deviled

If you are serving a large crowd you could make a couple of these hatching chicks surrounded by traditional deviled eggs.

Do you have a favorite Easter dish? Comment below we would love to hear from you.

Thai Spiced Deviled Egg Recipe Here

Strawberry Pastry 350

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastry Recipe

Strawberry cream cheese pastry

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastry Recipe: If you are looking to impress your friends and family with your amazing baking skills, then this recipe is for you!

The hardest part of this recipe is probably slicing the strawberries thin, but don’t worry I have an easy trick for getting the job done quickly!

Pastry Ingredients:
1 package Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup strawberry preserves or pie mix
1/2 quart strawberries
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Slice strawberries and set aside. I have found an egg slicer makes quick work of thinly slicing the strawberries.

Sliced strawberries

In a small bowl mix cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Lay out the crescent rolls and press seams together. Spread cream cheese mixture and strawberry preserves onto rolls. Sprinkle half of the sliced strawberries on top of cream mixture.

Cresent rolls

cream cheese filling

Fold over the edges, pressing to seal. Egg wash the top of the pastry and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

cresent roll

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 ounces softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

Heat 1/2 stick of unsalted butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the burner and add 2 oz of cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Sift 3/4 cup of powdered sugar into your pan and mix thoroughly.

Remove pastry from oven and smooth icing over the top and garnish with the remaining sliced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!

pastry breakfast

Do you have a great recipe you like to impress with? Send us the recipe, we are always looking for new things to make.

Chicken Strips Recipe 350

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

Chicken Strips Recipe

Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe: My daughter wanted to have happy meals for her play date today because they “needed” to have some chicken nuggets. Instead of fast food, I decided to make both of us happy and make some oven-fried chicken tenders and create our own “fun meal”!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
1 package chicken breasts

Heat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease a cooking sheet.

Ingredients

Cut the chicken breast into thin strips. You will need three shallow dishes. Dish one add the flour.  Dish two will be the egg beaten with water. In dish three add the Panko, Parmesan cheese and dry ranch seasoning.

Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet.

Chicken Strips

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the coating is golden brown. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Chicken Strip Basket

I picked up a couple of baskets to keep on hand for our fun meals in the dollar section. I lined them with a coffee filter and put the chicken with some french fries in them. The girls are all smiles! They were happy to have a special treat and I am happy knowing exactly what they are eating.

Do you have a creative meal your kids are excited to eat? Comment below we are always looking for fun recipes to make for our children!

Harvest Cheddar Soup 350

Harvest Cheddar Soup Recipe

Harvest Cheddar Soup

Harvest Cheddar Soup Recipe: Nothing beats a bowl of homemade soup on a chilly day! Recently I purchased a new Vitamix and have been wanting to try making soup with it, I picked Harvest Cheddar Soup to give it the test. Could it really be as easy as putting the ingredients in our Vitamix and turning it on? And if so, was it going to taste good?

Well the answer to both of those questions is yes and yes! The soup came out at the perfect temperature and was simply delicious! I have never had soup made with apples before and was pleasantly surprised at how it really made the soup taste like something from an upscale restaurant.

Harvest Ingredients

Ingredients:
2 Cups chicken broth
1/4 medium onion
1 stalk celery
2 medium apples
2 medium potatoes baked, cooled and halved
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Place all ingredients except cheese in the Vitamix in the order of ingredients. Select the Hot Soup program and start machine. Allow machine to complete the cycle then set to variable 1 and slowly increase sped to variable 6. Remove the lid plug and drop in the shredded cheese. Blend for an additional 10 seconds.

Vitamix

Serve immediately garnished with a small amount of shredded cheese and green onions.

Do you have a favorite blender only soup recipe? Comment below with your recipe, we can’t wait to try out!

Vitamix Harvest Cheddar Soup

Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake Recipe 350

Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake Recipe

Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake Recipe

Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake Recipe: It was my son’s birthday and I wanted to make him a very special cake. The “funny” part is that he doesn’t eat cake or chocolate, but everyone needs a cake for their birthday!

I found this recipe on OMG Chocolate Dessert blog and it is truly amazing. I adapted the recipe and used a boxed chocolate cake, which turned out great. This cake looks like you bought it from a cake shop, but really it was quite easy to make.

Chocolate Cake:
1 Box of chocolate cake mix

Oreo cheesecake filling:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
12 Oreo Cookies (crushed)

Milk chocolate ganache:
8 oz. milk chocolate (finely chopped)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Garnish:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup whipped cream

Cakes

Cake: Prepare cake per instructions on box. Use two 9 inch round baking pans. Once baked cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Remove cakes from the pans and place on wire racks upside down (this flattens domed cakes) and cool completely.

Oreo cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl mix heavy whipping cream until firm peaks form. In another mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth. Combine cream cheese and whipped cream and stir in crushed Oreo.

Cake filling

Assemble the cake: Spread the cheese cake filling on bottom layer of cooled cake, carefully place the second layer on top of filling. Place assembled cake in the refrigerator to set and cool (30 minutes.)

Chocolate cake

Ganache: In a sauce pan over low heat melt chopped milk chocolate, remove from the heat and stir in heavy cream. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and then pour over the cake. If the Ganache is  too runny, cool it a little until it thickens. Be sure that it is still thin enough to drip down the sides of the cake.

Ganache

We garnished ours with chocolate chips & whipped cream and sprinkled some crushed Oreos over the top. Your family or guests will not believe you made this cake yourself!

Oreo cake

If you decided to try this recipe be sure to post a picture of your cake on our Facebook page.

Nutri Ninja Blender 350

Nutri Ninja Duo Blender Review

Nutri Ninja Blender

Nutri Ninja Duo Blender: It was mentioned this weekend that we should start juicing and making healthy smoothies for the family. After quite a bit of research on the different juicers and blenders on the market I decided that the Nutri Ninja Duo was going to be the one to buy.

The Nutri Ninja Duo is equipped with Auto-IQ, so the programs do all the work for you. Just select your program and turn it on. I specifically chose this blender for the nutrient extraction. I cannot have seeds or nuts so I wanted a machine that could completely pulverize them.

We did the video below as soon as we got it home. I had picked up a few fruits and vegetables at the store so we could try it out right away.

The first test was the strawberries, I wanted to see how well it pulverized them before adding the rest of the ingredients. Watch below to see how everything turned out.

Nutri Ninja

We plan on trying out many different recipes with the Nutri Ninja so if you have a favorite recipe please comment below so we can try it out.

Cheesy Meatloaf 350

Cheddar Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe

Cheesy Meatloaf recipe

Cheddar Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe: Just saying cheese makes you smile, that’s why it’s the universal word said before getting a picture taken! So adding cheese to a recipe is a sure way to make your family smile at dinner.

This cheddar stuffed meatloaf was a BIG hit with my family. I would suggest cutting up the entire meatloaf at the start of the meal to save yourself time during dinner, everyone will be asking for seconds.

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
25 crushed saltine crackers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 onion diced
1 large egg beaten
6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine beef, sausage, crushed crackers, sauce, onion and egg. Divide mixture in half.

Meatloaf 1

Gently press half the mixture into loaf pan. Press the center down to create a rim around the outside of the meatloaf. Add shredded cheese to the center of the meatloaf.

Meatloaf cheese

Form the remaining half into the same size as the meatloaf pan and set on top. Gently press the sides together to seal in the cheese. Pour ketchup over the top and spread around to create an even glaze over the top.

meatloaf ketchup

Place meatloaf in the oven for approximately one hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Do you have a family favorite recipe? Comment below we are always looking for new recipes to try.

Cheesy Meatloaf 350

Filet Mignon Recipe 350

Filet Mignon with Caramelized Onions and Feta

Filet Mignon Recipe

Filet Mignon with Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onions: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you plan on making a romantic dinner in the comforts of your home this is a perfect recipe to make.

The caramelized onions are key to this delicious dish, they truly are a labor of love but so worth the effort.

Ingredients:
2 large onions
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Onions

Start off by peeling and thinly slicing the onion, then separate into rounds. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring about every 4 minutes.

carmelized onions

Remove the cover and raise the heat to medium and add the salt and sugar. Continue cooking uncovered for 30-35 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, they are full of flavor. If your onions are sticking to the pan add some liquid one tablespoon at a time. The onions will have a very dark brown color to them when they are done.

Filet

Filet Mignon is such an amazing cut of beef it requires very little seasoning or preparation to cook to perfection. Set out your steaks at least a half hour before you are ready to cook them so they have a chance to come to room temperature. This will help them retain their moisture and get a nice sear on the outside.

Preheat oven to 375. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and lightly coat with grape seed oil. Heat an ovenproof skillet on high heat. Sear the filet’s for 3 minutes per side. Be sure to use a tongs to turn them. Place skillet in oven for 6-7 minutes for a nice medium-rare steak. You can adjust the time up or down depending on how you like you steak, but medium-rare is what is recommended for this cut of meat.

Filet Cast Iron Skillet

Remove skillet from oven and place the steaks on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. The steaks will continue to cook and will be juicier if left to rest.

Top your steaks with feta cheese crumbles (we enjoy the Mediterranean flavor) and caramelized onions. Pair with your favorite side dish and enjoy. We served ours with grilled vegetables and Yum Yum Sauce for a fantastic dinner.

Filet-Mignon-Recipe 2

Do you have a favorite recipe for special dinners? Comment below we love trying new recipes.