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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bacon Ranch Chicken Rolls

As I pondered today what to fix for dinner, racking my brain, what did I have in the freezer, pretty sure that I had chicken, that is where I started my meal.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Rolls
3 cans refrigerator biscuits
2 lbs chicken cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
1 C Parmesan cheese
1 C mozzarella
1 (8oz) pkg of Cream Cheese cubed
2 cloves of garlic minced (for ease I use the bottled pre-minced)
8 small green onions chopped
2 stalks of celery diced
2 Tbsp fresh (curly) parsley
1 envelope Ranch Dressing
1 lb Bacon cooked till crispy and crumbled

Combine all ingredients except the biscuits. Roll out biscuits till flat, place a scoop of filling in the center of the biscuit and seal. Place in 2 well greased 12" ovens, bake at 350 degree for 20-25 minutes

To take this outdoors - Pre-cook your chicken and bacon - or for that fact you could prepare your filling and just keep it in the cooler - when your ready to eat - flatten the biscuits, stuff and bake. These are a lot like hot pockets so.... experiment with the meats - try Ham instead of chicken.....

Left overs - if you have any are great the next day for lunch.

Have fun cookin'

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Trip to the IDOS WCCO 2012

Last week was an amazing week. Thursday - I was a Chef's Assistant for Bill and Toni Thayn -a team that came in 5th place and qualified to cook on Saturday. Friday was my turn to cook - Andrew and I had a BLAST! Everything came out to our liking, nothing burned, perfect coloring, etc... However we missed qualifying to cook on Saturday, by 3 points. Very disappointing. I was baffled by some of the judges comments, please know that judging is a persons "opinion" of what was cooked. And if they don't like seafood they tell you. Oh well, we had fun, in spite of, an opinionated judge. Saturday I did not let things get me down I mentioned to Bill and Toni that if I did not make it to Saturday I'd come be their Assistant again. And what fun that was - I learned how to make Sushi and an amazing Kobe Beef, and tasted a dried Hibiscus flower (tastes like fruit leather - very yummy). What a great couple, and teachers, they are. I was so excited when the took 2nd place - In my eyes (and taste buds), their food was 1st place - awesome presentations.

There were teams from all across the country from Louisiana, Alaska, Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Idaho and or course Utah. IDOS has a motto that states "Good Food, Good Friends and Good Fun" which was had by all that attended this weekend. We had was some might call a good old fashioned family reunion. 

I was happy to see people, that I only chatted with on Facebook for the past year, and to catch up with them in person. I am excited for the IDOS Spring Gathering on May 5th, 2012 - there are some great classes being held, as well as some great vendors, an Auction, Taste of Dutch, and the Youth Cook-off. Check out the link and come see why I enjoy this so much.

Recipes from the 2012 WCCO can be purchased at the IDOS website or at the Spring Gathering. 

Here are a few pictures from the WCCO 2012 - there are lots more on the IDOS Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Rob Love, an Awesome Photographer!! 

I was grateful to share this experience with my children, it was neat to see all they learned and can't wait to see what it brings to our dinner table. 

Hope to see you at the Spring Gathering. Keep your pots hot and the creative juices flowing. 

Have fun cookin'

Sunday, March 11, 2012

IDOS World Championship Cook-off 2012

This is truly going to be a week that will raise the ol' blood pressure. I was laid off from my previous job back on February 3rd and have been diligently searching since for another. I was, shall I say, not putting 100% into finding something, because of the WCCO. I was worried that if I found something that I may not be able to make it to this cook-off.

As luck would have it - I applied for a job, pretty confident that I could do it - but thinking I would have time before they hired. Well to make things short - I start this new job on Monday (tomorrow) and the WCCO is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. Yeah you read that right - 2 days of training - off for 3 then start fresh next Monday - I am a basket full of nerves today- I keep telling myself, "Cyndi, you can do this. It's no big deal." while I am battling the feelings of "Cyndi, what have you done, are you freakin' nuts!!" I am truly grateful to this new company for being understanding and open to my commitment.

I have taken the time last week to start packing - I went shopping for the non perishable that I would need and have gotten that packed. I pick the rest up on Wednesday and finish packing then. Just so you understand the "packing" - check out this previous post, Packing for a cook-off after reading this you will understand why I am ever so grateful that my son (and cooking partner) purchased a truck a couple months back. My Mini-van will get a break this year (insert angelic choirs). I am pretty excited for this next week/weekend. I am feeling pretty organized - and confident about my recipes. I'm sorry I will not be posting them for a while - I will post pictures later.

2012 WCCO Cookbook
 If you are interested in the 2012 WCCO cookbook - (Note: this has recipes from 21 teams that have to cook for 2 days - (different recipes)) - you can pick one up here 2012 World Championship Dutch Oven Cook-off - or if you're in town you can pick one up at the International Sportsman's Expo at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, March 15-18. (Click the link for ticket information) I'll be assisting on Thursday and cooking on Friday, with the hopes to be cooking on Saturday also, and assisting on Sunday, so stop by and say Hi! Sit a while (there will be bleacher seating) and watch, talk to the contestants, and check out a demo or two, you might pick up some ideas to take home and try.

As for me, here's to a new adventure!
Hope to see ya'll there!
Have fun Cookin'

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Strawberry Cake / Danish Cake

'Tis strawberry season - this is always a hit at my house and Melissa requested it as her  birthday cake this year. There are versions of this already on my Blog but this is the easier version made with a cake mix and made in the oven and not a Dutch Oven. 

Strawberry Cake / Danish Cake

1 white or yellow cake mix 

Follow the directions on the box. 

1 16 oz tub of cool whip                      1 8oz pkg of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar                      1 1lb strawberries
1 package of Junket Danish Dessert (Strawberry flavor)

Mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 16oz of cool whip. Mix well. 
In a separate bowl mix 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese.  Mix well. combine the cream cheese mixture and the cool whip mixture together in a large bowl. Spread mixture across the the cake. Chill until firm.
While the cake is cooling, make the Danish Dessert following the pie glaze directions on the back of the box. Stir in the strawberries pour over the cake. 

Have fun cookin'

This recipe can also be made with Raspberries and Raspberry Danish Dessert.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings

My original plan for dinner tonight was pancakes - we spent the morning helping the in-laws move furniture - they are getting new carpet this week - knowing my back and knees would be shot by dinner time pancakes sounded nice. Then I went to the Kohl's with my oldest and walked past a display of big cast iron dutch ovens - the package showed dumplings in their oven - So my quest for dinner began -

Chicken & Dumplings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 stocks celery chopped
4 carrots peeled and chopped
3-4 medium potatoes
2 C cooked chicken
1-11/2 quarts of chicken stock
3-4 tablespoons modified corn starch (for thickening)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

In a Dutch Oven, saute onions and celery in oil till tender,  add chicken, carrots, potatoes, and chicken stock. Cook till carrots and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle modified corn starch into the broth and stir till thickened yet still bubbly. Reduce heat. Add dumplings.

For tonight's dinner I cheated and used Bisquick
4 1/2 Cup Bisquick
1 1/3 Cup Milk
Mixed together and drop by spoonfuls on boiling soup/stew. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

I like a little parsley in my dumplings, so I add a little as I am mixing.

If you are feeling a little more ambitious, here is a link, to a Dumplings from scratch recipe.

There is nothing better that dumplings with a little butter and a bowl of stewed chicken. Mmmmmm. Comfort food at it's finest!

Have fun cookin'

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