Candy Scotcharoos

Sometimes I have recipes I bookmark from other websites that I make just as they are, sometimes I alter them slightly and sometimes I change them to specifically cater to what I have on hand and/or what is one sale. Such is the case with these scotcharoos with a candy bar icing. Generally, the scotcharoos I ate growing up was a base of rice krispies and the frosting was melted chocolate and butterscotch chips. This is a little different.

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The scotcharoo has Cheerios as a base and it is topped with candy bar icing. Cheerios and Hershey’s candy were on sale this particular week so I gave it a go.

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Disregard those marshmallows. I had an idea to use them but skipped it. I liked these so much I made a pan for my house and a pan for a friend who just had a baby girl.

Candy Scotcharoos, inspired by I Am Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 6-7 cups Cheerios cereal

Frosting

  • 3 full size Snickers bars
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 bag fun size candy, any flavor, chopped into pieces (I used Hershey’s toffee/almond candy bars)

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan using baking spray or parchment paper.
  2. In a large pan, combine sugar and corn syrup and cook over medium heat until boiling. Boil for a minute and remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Stir in the cereal and gently pat the cereal mixture into the prepared pan.

Frosting

  1. Melt three full size Snickers bars with 1 stick butter in a saucepan over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Once melted, remove from heat and add powdered sugar then the milk.
  2. Pour warm frosting over bars and sprinkle chopped candy bars over frosting, allow to set for at least 3 hours.

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The 14 oz. bag of Cheerios will make 2 pans of bars so it’s only natural to double up this recipe.

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The gas station where I got snickers only had these double packs (?) so 2 packs of those will work fine in the frosting recipe.

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The bars would be good just as this without frosting, but let’s not be silly.

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The hardest part of this recipe is unwrapping all those candies.

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I put my candy bars on the warm frosting so they melted into the bars. You could let the frosting cool a bit first if you didn’t want your candies to melt.

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If you are looking for a fun twist on the regular scotcharoos, give this a try! Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Dessert | Leave a comment

Medora, 2014

Medora. Explore it. Adore it.

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The tagline that Medora has for its quaint little city is perfect. It is really just adorable. My husband and I spent the weekend in Medora Aug. 1-3 and were graciously treated to the Pitchfork Fondue and Medora Musical by the company he works for. What an awesome gift! I love all the souvenir shops, the happy attitudes of those working the shops and of course, the gorgeous, natural landscapes of the area. I mean, check out this view of my morning run below. You can’t quite beat that! As a kid, our folks took us to Medora and I have happy memories of the car trip out there, stopping at the National Park overlook, riding the horses on trail rides, going to the musical, eating ice cream and taffy and staying at the hotel and playing in the pool. It’s tough to beat that when you are a kid!

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Medora is only a couple of hours away from Hazen and my husband and I agree we should try to get here at least every other year. The musical and the town are largely unchanged year to year, but it is still fun to visit. This year the musical is celebrating its 50th year! How impressive. My husband remembers when seating was just in the hillside and not the comfortable chairs and escalator they have now. It’s truly amazing what Harold Schafer had envisioned and how it still plays out today. What a gift to the city of Medora. I’ll recap below our brief weekend stay.

The Bunkhouse Motel – we opted to stay at the Bunkhouse Motel. Those familiar with Medora this is the hotel on the edge of town behind the AmericInn. They look like long trailers and they have an outdoor pool. You must check in at the Badlands Motel. (The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is a nonprofit organization founded by Harold Schafer. It is really interesting to read up on what he did for Medora and how he created almost all the lodging, entertainment and recreation attractions in the area. You will find most all businesses are operated by The TRMF by workers who volunteer or who are largely from other states and countries.) The Bunkhouse is old, not updated but is clean, comfy and they have air conditioning and a pool. Rooms have televisions and a basic bathroom but no hair dryer, FYI. Check in is at 4pm MDT and checkout at 11am. They are open early June through early September as most things in Medora are. Our room was $89/night but they do have Senior (55+) rates and family units available.

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The Badlands Pizza Parlor and Saloon – this was a new place to us and I believe they just opened this year. The menu features appetizers, pizza, pasta or sub sandwiches. They also offer ice cold beer. There is a covered patio outside but per city ordinance you cannot dine outside while enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Bummer! We decided to dine on a Taco Pizza (husbands fave). While we were there at 1pm it was extremely busy and loud – lots of families. Our server was quick and our pizza came out without much of a wait. I would have preferred our pizza cooked a bit longer – we like it a bit more crisp – but it was a very good pie. The toppings were super fresh and there wasn’t too much cheese or sauce. We ordered a medium and had a couple pieces left over. I’d definitely go again. The pizza parlor is open late so you can go in after the musical if you’d like. They are open 11am-11pm in the summer.

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Ice Cream – there are a few locations in town to get ice cream. There is almost any flavor and you can get it in a cone or bowl. I don’t know what it is but the ice cream tastes so good in Medora. We had to stop and I got my favorite Mint Chocolate Chip. The taffy they sell is also pretty great and was the only thing my husband purchased for a souvenir! We lucked out with a very warm and sunny day so this hit the spot!

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Shopping – there are countless shops all within walking distance. You can find anything from Black Hills Gold jewelry, to authentic western wear, kitchen tools, cheap kids toys, clothing and more. I bought this beautiful necklace at the first shop we went to! I just love it.

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The Pitchfork Fondue – each night you can visit the Tjaden Terrance adjacent to the amphitheater for a dinner of deep fried steak (cooked on the pitchfork) and all the fixings like baked potatoes, beans, cole slaw, fruit, garlic toast, veggies and brownies. They have water, lemonade and coffee or you can purchase beer or pop at your own cost. A steak buffet is $28 or you can get just the buffet for $14. Kids can do a hot dog meal for $6.95. Try to get there around 5:30mdt as the cookout lasts an hour and you will have just a bit of time to visit before you walk over to the musical. We were told they served 1,100 guests the night we attended!! Those cowboys were definitely most busy with their pitchforks frying our steaks. And the steaks are fried but they aren’t overly greasy. They are default cooked to medium but I enjoyed my steak and the experience of eating while looking out on the Badlands.

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The Medora Musical – the musical is billed as the greatest show in the west – the rootin’-tootinest, boot’scootinest show in all the west as a matter of fact. The show is held daily at 7:30mdt from early June to early September. No breaks for the singers! The show is in the updated outdoor amphitheater, with the Badlands making the perfect backdrop for the show. This western-style musical is fast moving and family friendly. Kids are invited on stage each night to help the Burning Hills Singers and a comedian offered his variety act the night we attended. They do switch up the variety acts throughout the summer. The music is mostly country but also has gospel and patriotic numbers. There is an escalator, bathrooms and concession stands. Expect to wait at least a half hour to leave the amphitheater and parking lot as there is only one way in/out. Ticket prices depend on your age (adult, kids or military) and if you are in the upper or lower level. Adults in the lower level are $35 per person and that is the highest. They have promos including free admission for kids grade 1 and under, seniors day (55+) discounted and free kids day Wednesday and Sunday. You can upgrade to a season pass for a nominal rate. I love the Burning Hills Singers singing but I love even more the choreographed dances they do. What talent on that stage. The live band certainly does not disappoint either.

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What a view for an outdoor amphitheater!

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The musical starts out in the evening light…

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…and ends after sunset.

Bars – since we don’t have kids I don’t have much to report on additional family activities but I can fill you in on the nightlife. There are basically 3 bars in Medora. I’m not sure but I think these are probably the businesses in town not affiliated with the TRMF? You can walk to all of them so that is great news. On the one end of town in the strip mall is the Knotty Pine Peanut Bar. This is family friendly during the day and you can grab a burger or fried food here. They obviously also have peanuts and several beers on tap or in bottles. This is a great place to stop in during the middle of the day for a beer and peanuts. Next up at the end of the strip mall, in a separate building, is Boots Bar and Grill. They opened recently in 2009. They serve food – steaks, salads, baskets, walleye, burgers, pizza, appetizers and more. They have outdoor seating and are kid-friendly until 10pm. Each weekend they feature a band. If you like to dance, Boots is your place! Finally, there is the Little Missouri Dining Room & Saloon. The dining is upstairs and the saloon is the main floor. This used to be my favorite bar. I still like it and they have cold beer, mixed drinks, music sometimes and a blackjack table for gaming. I haven’t eaten at any of these places so I don’t have anything to report there.

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Making friends with the locals. This guy has been around a while I think.

We finished off our Sunday morning with breakfast at the Chuckwagon Buffet. This all-you-can-eat breakfast stop was great after a late night out. I especially enjoyed the fruit, yogurt, granola and monkey bites (caramel roll bites). This place is also open during the summer only, breakfast starts at 7am. Just as we were leaving, the sky opened up and it poured rain. We waited for it to slow down and made the drive back to Hazen. The only downfall (besides leaving Medora) was losing that extra hour going back to central standard time.

There is so much more to do in Medora that we didn’t even touch on. We are talking golf, Maah Daah Hey trail, mini golf, Cowboy Hall of Fame, hiking, TR National Park, etc. There was even a weight lifting event going on in town while we were there!

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Medora is a beautiful, quiet get away that I need to remember is close to us for a fun weekend away in one of the most beautiful areas of certainly North Dakota and the United States. If you live in ND and haven’t been to Medora in your lifetime, it is a must to make it there. You will not be sorry. They close soon for the season so put it on your calendar for next year!

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Citrus Butter Cookies

My Mom gave me a handful of lemons and limes and I couldn’t think of anything better to do than make these wonderful butter cookies. They are soft and not too sweet with just a bite of tartness from the citrus. They are a lovely summer cookie.

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They are topped with a citrus/powdered sugar glaze and some citrus zest. (I accidentally dumped a bit too much on the front two cookies. Oops!)

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Citrus Butter Cookies from the Pioneer Woman, recipe here, only slightly adapted, made 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (4 Sticks) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, Separated
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest (approx. 1 Tablespoon Each)
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And/or Lime Juice (2 Tablespoons Total)

Icing

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cream or milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest (2 Tablespoons Total)
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lime
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
  • Extra Zest, For Decorating
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until combined, about 4 minutes. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set one white aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough using a cookie scoop, or roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 4+ minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency. <<<If you have issues using raw egg white you could make the glaze without it.

Drizzle the icing over the cookies and then sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.

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An additional benefit of baking these cookies is your kitchen will smell amazing when you zest your citrus!

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Before and after. You don’t have to chill the dough and the cookies stay nice and thick.

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I just laid my cookies out on parchment and heavily covered the cookies with the glaze. You can make it as thick or thin as you like.

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Enjoy this sweet treat perfect for these last summer days!

Posted in Baking, Cookies, Dessert | Leave a comment

Spaghetti Squash Taco

I love tacos, Mexican food, spicy food, tomatoes, cilantro, etc. I am always looking for a new way to eat spicy Mexi-food. For this recipe I basically top spaghetti squash with veggie filled taco meat.

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Top with salsa, guacamole, cilantro and green onion and this is about a perfect meal.

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It’s been a hot minute since I posted some pictures of my pets. I think Winston was feeling a little unhappy about that and I couldn’t get him to look directly at the camera. He has been enjoying summer and swimming out at the lake every week.

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I also have to include a photo of this little minx, Brinklie. My husband was laying on the couch and she just jumped on him and spread out. You could say she rules the roost. She has been enjoying summer also – laying in the yard and chasing/eating flies.

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For the food. I’ll just give you a basic rundown of how I made my taco topping – feel free to makes yours according to your taste preferences. This recipe serves 4.

  • 1 small spaghetti squash, cooked
  • 1 lb. ground chicken, cooked and crumbled (or any other lean meat)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • various garden peppers, chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, corn removed
  • Seasonings to taste – ground hot peppers, tajin salt (includes chili and lime flavor), ground oregano, ground cumin, red pepper flakes and chili powder
  • Toppings – fresh salsa, tomatoes, guacamole, green onion, cilantro, etc.

Cook your chicken in a large skillet and remove. Add olive oil to the same pan and sauté peppers, onion and garlic. Once veggies are cooked, add the chicken back to the pan along with the corn. Heat everything through and season with spices. Plate by placing your warmed spaghetti squash first, top with meat mixture and then toppings of your choice.

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This meal is perfect for this time of year if you have a garden and access to fresh onions, peppers, corn and tomatoes. The spaghetti squash is a much healthier alternative to a fried taco shell.

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Enjoy!

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Beaver Creek Brewery, Wibaux, MT

My husband and I were graciously invited by the company he works for to attend the Medora Musical and Pitchfork Fondue as their Family Picnic they put on annually. This was the first Saturday in August. We decided to make a weekend of it and stay both Friday and Saturday in Medora. I am familiar with Beaver Creek Brewery from the 2013 Beerfest in Bismarck where I got to sample their beers. They brew in Wibaux, Montana, so I proposed making a trip there on Friday upon our arrival before heading back to Medora for the evening. My husband isn’t a big fan of craft beers, but he loves visiting small towns and agreed to drive. Wibaux is about 7 miles into Montana right off of I-94, a mere half hour or so from Medora. If you get tired of driving you can stop off in Beach for a quick break!

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Wibaux is a small town of about 500 people. Wikipedia states: “According to legend, Theodore Roosevelt got his nickname “Old Four Eyes” in Wibaux, (Mingusville, at the time) shortly after moving to the badlands from New York City. A drunk sheep rancher in the bar said “four eyes is buying”. At first Roosevelt ignored him, but the man wouldn’t let up. Eventually he walked over to confront Roosevelt. Roosevelt stood up, accidentally tripping the drunk man, who fell and did not get up.” Who knows if that is true, but interesting.

The brewery didn’t open until 4pm MDT and we arrived in town at about 3:30. We decided to give a couple other watering holes a try! There were two bars on the main drag just adjacent to the brewery – the Shamrock and the Rainbow Club.

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The Shamrock was decorated pretty fun with a bar on one side and food on the other side. The bar had this cow head and on the ceiling were the names and brands of various area ranches which was kind of neat.

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The beer was literally ice cold. Mine had ice crystals in it and I was not complaining.

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After that beer we went over to the Rainbow Club. We each had a beer and it was happy hour – they were both $3.50! Total. Isn’t that crazy? I just love small towns! At this point, it was about 4:30 and I wanted to head over to the brewery.

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It was a packed house! I don’t know if this is typical or if people in Montana only work until 4pm maybe? But we did find a table and a bag of popcorn and promptly went up to the bar to order as instructed by signage.

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The brewery is bright, open and decorated with some antique type items. From what I understood, they always have 6 beers on tap, two seasonal beers and a root beer. The Gem Theater is immediately next door and has been renovated to serve appetizers and pizzas. The Gem also has live music. Both buildings look historic and have been renovated nicely. We saw signage at the brewery that they can only serve three pints a night to a person. They also aren’t open very late (8pm) which makes me think it must be some sort of state law since the brewery seems very popular. They have a small offering of gifts and we couldn’t pass on this t-shirt for a friend. LOL.

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You can imagine the taglines that you could come up with a name like Beaver Creek!

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OK, onto the beer. I got two flights which included every beer they had – including the root beer. I didn’t really take notes since it was so busy and I was just trying to enjoy my time with my husband. But they were all good! I’d gladly make a return visit anytime.

This is taken direct from their website:

Named for the small creek running through Wibaux, Beaver Creek Brewery
opened its doors in summer 2008 with six beers on tap, plus root beer.
Since then, BCB has grown in popularity, becoming a regional destination
for connoisseurs of beer, music and good times.

The next time you’re in our neck of the plains, stop by and say hi. We
always say, “Our Beaver Tastes Better!” and we love it when people come in
and find out for themselves!

WHAT’S ON TAP

Wibaux’s Gold – 5.5 ABV
Our lightest ale-hybrid (brewed with an ale yeast at a lower temp). This is what we call a lager style ale!

Beaver Creek Pale – 6.6 ABV
Slightly darker than a traditional pale ale with a full body and well-rounded hoppiness.

Paddlefish Stout – 6.3 ABV
Brewed with dark-roasted grains, adding hints of chocolate with added fresh-brewed espresso. If you like coffee, you’re gonna love this beer! Served with a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie.

Redheaded IPA – 7.3 ABV
2009 People’s Choice Award Winner at Montana Brewer’s Association Brew Festival. India Pale Ale dark amber color with a rich hop flavor with just the right amount of malt sweetness. Dry hopped for added aroma.

Rusty Beaver Wheat – 7.6 ABV
A local favorite! Non-traditional, big and bold wheat ale brewed with red wheat malt, caramalt, and Montana grown pale malted barley. A nice touch of sweet orange peel adds to a smooth malty finish.

Rough Rider Wheat – 4.0 ABV
Light ale brewed with lemon grass.

Lotsa Root Beer (non-alcoholic)
Brewed with our secret recipe. Try with 2 scoops of Montana-made Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream!

Mighty Big ESB (SEASONAL) –6.3 ABV
Extra special bitter.

SOLD AT:

Beulah
Sportsman’s Liquor

Bismarck
JL Beers-Paddlefish Stout
McKenzie River Pizza-Redheaded IPA
Broadway Bar and Grill

Mandan
Freddie’s- Rusty Beaver Wheat
Main Street Drive Thru Liquor-Redheaded IPA

Dickinson
Wildcat Pizza
Players
Army’s West-Paddlefish Stout
Elks Lodge-Redheaded IPA
Sanfords
Frontier Liquor-growler fills

Medora
Boots Bar and Grill-Rusty Beaver Wheat, Beaver Creek Pale Ale, Wibaux’s Gold, Paddlefish Stout, Redheaded IPA
Roughrider Hotel-Rough Rider Wheat
Little Missouri- Rusty Beaver Wheat

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I do have to say in retrospect, I think we were a bit rushed. It was so busy in there and we were concerned about getting back to Medora without having too much to drink. I now know there is a Beaver Creek Inn & Suites and I’d love to make a return visit to spend more time at BCB and the other local bars. Obviously I have to go back!

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This was one side of two of the small menu. We wanted a pizza and got a small taco. It was a perfect size to get something in our bellies.

 

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The ingredients and toppings were fresh on our taco pizza and we ate everything. I also enjoyed a second bag of popcorn. I really need to do a tour of USA bars that serve popcorn so I can find the best. I just love popcorn!

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And finally I was happy to be the passenger on the way home. Thanks for going with husband. Let’s go back soon!

Posted in FeistyLife, Misc | 1 Comment

Honey lime Sriracha chicken

I love chicken and eat a lot of it. I am OK with it being plain but it is nice to change it up and try new things. I had a lot of limes and came up with this recipe. The lime juice really tenderizes the chicken and the honey makes it so this isn’t too spicy.

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I can’t get enough salads this summer with all the fresh, available veggies. The chicken is perfect on top of this bed of greens. (There is lettuce under there, promise.)

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Ingredients for honey lime Sriracha chicken

  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour onto chicken and let marinade overnight or at least 3-4 hours.

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Before and after. I just love grilling season!

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On top of the greens I had some fresh corn, cucumber, green onion, tomato, red onion, feat cheese, plain Sriracha sauce, fresh salsa and a few tortilla chip crumbles. Enjoy!

Posted in Grilling, Main Dish | 1 Comment

Cinnamon Chip Apple Crisp

I came up with this recipe because I had a bag of Granny Smith apples to use and I had just purchased some cinnamon chips I thought would go great with these apples. I am personally a huge fan of the “crisp” in the apple crisp. You will find this recipe makes about 1.5x the normal topping. Excellent!

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This also had an extra punch of cinnamon which I personally love. The drizzle on top makes it all fancy for presentation.

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Cinnamon Chip Apple Crisp, recipe by me

  • 7-8 cups of Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips divided
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, cold
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Crisco shortening

Preheat oven to 350. Place peeled, cored and diced apples in large bowl and add vanilla and lemon juice. Stir to cover apples. To bowl add sugar, brown sugar, flour and 1/2 cup cinnamon chips. Stir to cover apples and pour into greased 9×13 pan. In the same bowl, add oats, flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir to incorporate. Dice up your chilled butter and add to the dry mix. Using a fork, your hands or a biscuit cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes crumbly. Add another 1/2 of the cinnamon chips to the mixture and evenly cover your apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely. Take remaining cinnamon chips (about 2/3 cup) and add shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Slowly heat and melt the chips. Drizzle over your cooled crisp and serve. Can be left at room temperature or refrigerated. Goes great with whipped cream and/or ice cream.

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One thing I find really does make baking or cooking easier is to use a garbage bowl. Yes, this is a tip from Rachel Ray and it really is slick, especially when peeling apples, working with onions, garlic, etc.

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Before and after. You want a nice, browned crust.

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Ready for the drizzle and after.

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You could serve this right away, keep at room temperature or store in the fridge. This also freezes nicely.

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I personally like it slightly chilled. I also like how the cinnamon drizzle hardens up and cracks when you serve/eat it.

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Try this unique twist on apple crisp next time you have some extra tart apples on hand! Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Dessert | Leave a comment