Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moving day

I have decided to venture out on my own.  Please visit me at my new location at www.definitelyleopard.com

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ro*tel Chicken Tostitos Casserole

I let my husband cook this one, seeing how this is his specialty. We used to call it Chicken Doritos Casserole, but there aren't actually any Doritos in it so I'm changing the name to Ro*tel Chicken Tostitos Casserole.  Since I took a break from cooking, I did the dishes.  Dish washing kills my hands, so today I tried something new.  I coated my hands in my favorite hand lotion (Bliss hand cream) and covered them with my leopard dish washing gloves.  The heat from the water really helps your hands to soak in the lotion.  My hands felt so soft afterwards.         

As for the food....


3 chicken breasts                                                     
2 cans of ro*tel
4 cans Cream of Chicken
16 oz Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 cup of milk
1 bag of Tostios tortilla chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Cook chicken on medium high for 45 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes and shred.
While chicken is cooking, heat all remaining ingredients on medium for 15 minutes.
Add chicken to sauce and stir.
Layer chips, chicken mixture, cheese and then repeat.
Cook for 20 minutes on 325 degrees.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Top with crushed tortilla chips if desired.

Servings: 12
Calories: 444
Fat: 25.6g
Fiber: 0.4g

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Today's  leopard find: Leopard Lolita Martini Glass from Amazon

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Lava Cake

I've been so busy cooking lately and trying to get my blog going that Easter has snuck up on me. I always go overboard on holidays. Tomorrow will be the day! Until then, I got out my favorite Easter decoration...my Heavenly Toes Easter plate from when the girls were 2 1/2 years old. Their little feet were painted like chickens. If you have kids, these plates are a must. I have something for every holiday. Brings a smile to my face every time I get them out, sometimes there are a few tears.

Unfortunately, I've never met a dessert I didn't like. I'm not sure what to call this one, but this was the best I could come up with...Chocolate chip lava cake. If you like warm gooey chocolate chip cookies this will be perfect. If not, I'm assuming that just cooking it a little longer would fix that problem.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
16 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped (plus one extra square for shavings if desired)
6 tbsp of Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray ramekins or small oven-safe bowls with cooking spray.
2. Mix butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each. Mix in the vanilla.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
3. Divide dough into 12 sections.  Place one section in the bottom of each prepared ramekin.  Place a Tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the very center of each.  Top with another section of cookie dough and press to seal sides.
4. Cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on size of bowls.

(skipping calories on this one)

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Today's  Leopard find...Awesome Leopard High Chair from Poshtots.  Now I need a new baby....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

I asked the girls to give me a list of ingredients that they would want in their dinner that they wouldn't say "ewww gross!", "what is that green thing???", "is that cheese in there???".  They gave me their list...chicken and pasta.  :l  So this was my attempt to appease them but sneak in a few other ingredients.  I was hoping that since the cheese is white, my queso loving/cheese hater wouldn't even notice.  She didn't notice the cheese but I think there was smoke coming out of their ears when they ate it.  I swear there must be some kind of chemical reaction between Dijon mustard and wine that ups the spiciness level.  Johnny didn't even use his Red Devil sauce on this one!  It was really, really good though.  I would just suggest adjusting the Dijon amount for kids.  Taylor still practically inhaled the entire plate, she just needed about 2 glasses of milk to wash it down.  I used my new leopard knife to trim the chicken and the rest of the wine for later.  I tried to find a helpful chart that explained the different types of knives and what to use them for, mainly because I had no idea what I was supposed to do with a mini leopard ax...  I didn't find a great one. Cutco had the best one I could find.  I did learn that you aren't supposed to put knives in the dishwasher because it dulls the blades.  (probably helps to sharpen them occasionally too :) )

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts,  cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken.
Add chicken and brown until cooked through.
Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

14.5oz rotini pasta (I used Barilla Plus)

Heat water to boiling in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta. Cook 10 minutes and drain.


2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1 T Dijon mustard (use less if you want it less spicy)
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
Crushed red pepper flakes (about 1 tsp)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add flour and whisk.
Add wine, garlic and mustard.  Mix until combined.
Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine.
Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken.
Add cheese and stir to melt.
Add chicken and pasta to sauce and mix.
Top with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Servings: 7
Calories: 520
Fat: 20
Fiber: 5

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Today's Leopard find:  Leopard Headphones from Barnes and Noble (thanks Cynthia!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

I think I have become addicted to muffins.  At least the 60 minutes I spend on the elliptical every day cancels out the muffin, so it's like it never happened. I was so excited to see that these were only 299 calories when I calculated it on SparkRecipes.   I found the leopard baking cups at Michaels.  They had pink and brown ones.  (of course I had to have both)

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest (the zest of one whole orange)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Line a muffin pan with baking cups
3) Zest one whole orange (about 1 Tablespoon) and set aside
4 )Squeeze the juice from that one orange (about 1/3 cup).
5) Put the orange juice (if needed, add some prepared orange juice to the fresh juice to make 1/3 cup) and the cranberries in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring as needed.  Turn off heat and set aside.
6)  In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger - set aside.
7)  In large bowl, cream the butter, orange zest and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
8)  Scrape side of the bowl, then mix in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, orange extract, and oil.
9)  Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk.  Fold in the cranberries.  Do not over mix.
10)  Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan.
11)Bake muffins about 20 minutes (test with a toothpick, there should be moist crumbs, but not wet).  Cool muffins on a wire cooling rack.

Servings: 12
Calories: 299
Fat: 19g
Fiber: 1.0g

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Today's Leopard find: leopard decals for your Kitchen Aid mixer from Kitchen Couture

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blueberry Muffin Cake

I had trouble coming up with a blog today because I had another #epic fail last night.  Very frustrating.  This time was Paula Dean's Mexican Chicken Casserole.  Who would have thought Paula Dean could do something wrong (because I'm sure it wasn't me).  This one however wasn't as bad as the inedible Crock pot Orange Chicken.  So since dinner was a huge failure, I moved on to something I thought would be easy...the popular pinterest pin of unclogging the sink with the vinegar & baking soda mix.  Well apparently that must do better when done regularly, because mine turned into a gigantic mess.  I hope the black gunk and white paste are having fun together in my pipes now, because I'm pretty sure it's there for good.  Phase 3...a few weeks ago I tried the "remove scratches from your dishes with Barkeepers Friend" pin.  I couldn't tell a difference at all so I googled it to see if I did it wrong and discovered that you aren't supposed to use that on dishes because it breaks down the enamel.  So my new learning is to research before I try some of these wonderful ideas.  Since I didn't feel like starting a round 4, y'all get an old (but good) recipe that I had luckily saved a picture of on Facebook.

½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tsp. lemon zest
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar (1 Tbs is for the topping)
1 egg (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and all of the sugar (except for 1 tablespoon to save for topping) until fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended.
3. Toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of the flour and set aside.
4. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk.
6. Fold in the blueberries.
7. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
8. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
9. Bake for 35-45 minutes. (until a toothpick comes out clean).  Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8
Calories: 344
Fat: 14g
Fiber: 2g

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Today's Leopard find:  Who doesn't need a leopard wine purse???  $29.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chicken Ranch Lasagna

In Texas, 3 things are a staple...iced tea, salsa and ranch.  So why not put ranch in lasagna?? But I have to admit that when I heard chicken ranch lasagna this Texas girl was a little skeptical.  I decided to try it anyway because Megan eats ranch on almost anything.  I'm so glad I did! It was delicious. Taylor doesn't like cheese but she loves queso, so I tried calling it queso ranch lasagna so that she would eat it, but no luck.

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Hidden Valley dry Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix (not the dip blend)
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I used 6 noodles)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.  Layer half of lasagna noodles, chicken, sauce, and cheese in well-greased 9×13 pan. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

This sauce may curdle on you when heating it, it's OK. Mine did not, because I kept it at a low heat after I let it come to just a boil, and stirred, stirred, stirred. You may not need the full 25 minutes, so when you can tell it's starting to thicken, it's OK to add to the dish. It may curdle after it's baked, but again, it's OK.

Servings: 8
Calories: 466
Fat: 21g
Fiber: 1g

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Today's Leopard find...Leopard Dustpan Set from Cookware.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Apple Pie Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
We are started a new system in my house today. It's my mission to get my girls to pick-up after themselves, not leave piles of things ALL over the house, grow up to be self-sufficient and be able to function in the real world like a normal human being.  I figure it takes 21 days to make a habit so in 21 days I hope to be able to report complete success on the first part.  I think I've already taken care of the last two. First up is "Clutter Jail".  I am soooo excited about this.  Them...not so much.  Anyway, on to the cute little muffin..We used to love Betty Crocker's Apple Streusel muffins.  Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find them in years.  These were just as good, but with lots of real apples.  They were delicious!  Of course they look even better in the cute little leopard cupcake liners.  I found these at Bella Cupcake Couture. They have many different ones to choose from, too many unfortunately.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
3 cups diced apples, about 3 apples (I used Macintosh)


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 375
Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients and apples in small bowl
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix well
Mix topping ingredients in small bowl
Grease muffin pan or use liners
Fill each muffin cup and sprinkle topping mix over batter
Bake 25 minutes

Servings: 12
Calories: 319
Fat: 15g
Fiber: 2g

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Today's Leopard find:
Leopard Rain Boots from The Pyramid Collection

Monday, March 5, 2012

Asian Flank Steak

  Asian steak sounded a little odd to me at first.  It took me years to love Asian food.  I'm not sure what my aversion to it was, but now I love it.  This was a nice twist on an ordinary steak.  I found a great website called Charcoal Bob that lets you enter the type and thickness of meat you are grilling and will tell you the desired time to cook. Unfortunately it didn't work for ours because we have an Infrared Cooker but if you have a charcoal or gas grill this would be a really helpful website.

1/2 cup Sherry
1/4 cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger
2 Tablespoons (3-5 cloves) Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Flat Iron Steaks
1/2 cup Soy Sauce

Whisk all ingredients (except steak of course) in a bowl.
Place the steaks and marinade in a Ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours.
Grill steaks on high heat for 4 minutes on each side for medium rare steaks.
Allow steaks to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Servings: 8
Calories: 273
Fat: 12g
Fiber: 0.3

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lemon Velvet Cream Pie

This is by far the prettiest pie I've ever made! (out of the 3 total ones I've made :) It was really good! Megan has already asked for me to make another one. She practically inhaled the first piece she had. To do the whip cream I used the Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator which I've had for years and never actually used. I'm sure I bought it with good intentions, but now that I've used it I'm sure I'm going to be trying to put whip cream on everything.

1 frozen 9" pie crust (because I was too lazy to make my own) - I think I might like it even better with a graham cracker pie crust. I'm going to try that next time.
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
6 egg yolks
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 pint of whipping cream - 1/4 cup for pie filling (add 1/8-1/
4 cup of sugar to remaining part for topping)
Lemon (optional for garnish)

Bake pie crust as directed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl soften gelatin in water for 5 minutes then heat in microwave for 14 seconds; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk.
With an electric mixer, beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Mix in gelatin, whipping cream and salt on low speed.
Add lemon juice and beat on low speed for 30 seconds.
Pour into prepared crust (pie will be really full).
Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until center of pie looks set when gently shaken.
Cool on wire rack 1 hour.
Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Top with whipped cream just before serving.

10 servings
398 calories
23g fat

Today's Leopard find: a reusable Leopard snack bag from Amazon for $10.00.

Crock Pot Brisket Tacos

My learning's from this cooking adventure:
1) What a bunch of cilantro is (thank you Produce Converter!) They also have a cool app. You never know when you might be out on the town and the question comes up "how many tablespoons are in a parsnip?" Now you won't be caught off guard.
2) Garbage disposals like lemons but apparently aren't fond of limes
3) Don't make this one before a big date because I'm going to smell like cilantro and garlic for days

4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 head garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 dry bay leaves
5 pound beef brisket
6 cups beef stock

Place the first 8 ingredients in a food processor if you have one. If not, stir together in crock pot.
Place the brisket on top and pour beef stock over top of meat.
Place bay leaves on top.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Then change setting to WARM and let sit for 6 to 8 hours. (Mine is awesome and actually changes the setting for you. It's a Wolfgang Puck brand from JCPenney)

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat. Place shredded beef in large bowl and spoon liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

Serve with fresh tortillas, Mexican cheese and any other desired toppings.

Servings:15 (will make about 30 tacos) - note: by the time we got all the fat off of our 5 lb brisket, there was only about 2lbs of meat left. We got about 15 tacos out of this.
Calories (without toppings and tortillas): 371
Fat: 19g
Fiber: 0.1g

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Today's Leopard find... Leopard Print Monogram Memo Cube from Tippie Toads


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas with Chile Sauce

Notice my new Ralph Lauren Safari Leopard plates?? They have them at Dillard's. You can also find them at Replacements, Ltd. I love the Replacements website because they have everything. Luckily, I haven't needed it yet but it's nice to know it's there if I ever break something. You can buy individuals plate on there if you wanted to do an assorted set. I want an entire set, the only problem is I only like the salad plate and I haven't quite gotten Johnny on the smaller portion habit and the girls have to have nothing touching on their plate. So for now, I'm the only one that gets to use the magnificent leopard plates.

1 medium onion, chopped in food processor
1 jalapenos, seeded and chopped in food processor
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped in food processor
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups Kraft 4 Cheese Mexican (2%)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 6" corn tortillas
cooking spray
salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt and oil in a large saucepan with lid.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often - about 8 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar.
Stir in the tomato sauce, water and chopped tomato.
Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened - about 5 minutes.
Mix the chicken into the sauce.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through - about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.
Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese and the cilantro.
Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave on high 50 seconds.
Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface and spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each.
Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce heat to 400.
Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Servings - 6
Calories - 362
Fat - 10
Fiber - 6g

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