Fire Crackers…..

So, I saw this recipe on Pinterest. Everyone had their version. But everyone agreed that these crackers are addicting. I looked at the various recipes and thought, EH…..not my thing. But for some reason, I wanted to try them out. They are the perfect party snack. I used both saltines and Ritz.  But I think you could probably use any kind of plain cracker. You will notice the recipe calls for oil. That was a huge turn off for me…the thought of all that oil on my crackers. All the recipes that I saw on line said to put the crackers into the oil for awhile. Hmmmm. I just couldn’t do it.  So I brushed the oil mixture onto the crackers with a pastry brush, thus having a little more control on the amount of oil. I also replaced some of the oil with butter. HUGE surprise there, right? I am a butter girl…not an oil girl. 🙂 I also baked mine for a few minutes. Most of the recipes on line didn’t bake them.

This is a perfect snack for upcoming SUPER BOWL. You really gotta try these. Super simple. Ohhhhhhh, you don’t have to put red pepper…but most of the recipes I found on line used a lot…thus the name Fire Crackers. I personally, love alot of spice. But I know some folks don’t care for spicy, so you can leave it out. I’m glad I tried this recipe.

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Fire Crackers

2  sleeves of Saltine crackers (or Ritz, oyster crackers, any plain crackers)
1/2  cup canola oil
1/4 cup butter, melted
1  one oz packet of Ranch salad dressing seasoning
2 tablespoons of crushed red chili pepper (or not)

Preheat oven to 245 deg. Whisk together the oil, melted butter, seasoning mix and chili. Lay crackers out on a baking sheet. Brush the liquid mixture all over the crackers or drizzle it on. Flip the crackers over and do the same on the back side. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the crackers over to the parchment lined sheet. Be careful not to break your crackers. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit out for at least half an hour. Transfer to an air tight container.

Chicken Salad with Bacon…………………………………….

One of my favorite sandwiches is a chicken salad. I was in the mood for a chicken and bacon club sandwich, but at the last minute, I decided to make a chicken salad and I just crumbled up the bacon and just mixed it right in. It was delicious. It was a great combination. Using an applewood smoked bacon is best. You really want that bacon flavor to come through. This is my go to chicken salad recipe and it’s delicious. I add sliced crunchy almonds but you certainly don’t have to if you’re not a nut fan. I LOVE nuts…some of my good friends are nuts. Haha 🙂

You will love this chicken salad. You don’t have to put it on bread….it’s great scooped on some romaine lettuce or served with crackers. I recommend a nice glass of Pinot Grigio to go with it. Mm-m-m-m.

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Chicken Salad with Bacon

2 cups leftover cooked chicken breast (cut up)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (more or less)
2 tablespoons diced onion
1 tablespoon diced celery (optional)
salt and pepper
2 slices cooked crumbled bacon
a few sliced almonds (I like a lot) love the texture….crunch crunch

Just mix everything up  and slap a scoop onto your bread or salad or whatever you’re going to do with it. Enjoy!

It’s even better the next day!

Orange Muffins………….

Next to chocolate, my favorite flavor is orange. I love orange. I have been craving a 50/50 cupcake…..orange and cream. It is one of my favorite cupcakes. But I didn’t want all that sugary sweet. So I was going to make orange scones. But then I realized I was out of butter. WHAT??!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. How can that be?? I am never out of butter…..it’s a tragedy, I tell ya!! So, what to do….what to do…I squeezed up some big ol home grown oranges and decided to make orange muffins. I made up a recipe and crossed my fingers. I used lots and lots of fresh grated orange zest. Ohhhhhhhhh, I love that smell of fresh orange zest…….so fragrant. I love seeing all those little speckly bits of orange bits in the batter. The batter with no butter. Bits in the butterless batter is better. A butterless batter is better with bits. A no butter batter is better with bits. Haahahah, sorry. I couldn’t resist. Kinda fun to say. Oh just one more time…..a bit of butter may be better in a batter with bits. Ok, I will stop now.

So, since oranges are loaded with vitamin C, I think this muffin is healthy…..maybe…ok, maybe not healthy per se, but it sure is tasty. Go pick some oranges from your tree, or sneak over to the neighbor’s yard and pick some. Make a batch of these soon. YUM.

 

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Orange Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1 Tblsp milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
2 Tblsp fresh grated orange zest

Orange Glaze
2 cups of powdered sugar
Add enough orange juice to get the consistency you like, approx. 2 tablespoons give or take.
1 tsp orange zest (or more)
Mix until smooth and set aside.

Orange Sugar
3 tblsp granulated sugar
1 tblsp orange zest
Mix together with a fork till well mixed

Heat oven to 375. Lightly spray muffin pan (bottoms only) with non stick spray, or lightly grease with oil. You can use baking cups if you prefer.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the orange juice, oil, milk, zest and egg. Add the wet to the dry flour mixture. Stir JUST until dry stuff is moistened. It’s ok if your mixture has lumps…..it should. Lumps are good. Fill the cups 3/4 full. If you are using the orange sugar topping, sprinkle on top of muffins and bake for approx. 17 minutes for the extra large muffins and 12-14 minutes for the regular size . Check with a toothpick cuz you DONT want dry muffins. Blekh. Cool just for a bit in the pan. Remove and drizzle with orange glaze if you want. Sometimes I like them plain, sometimes I like a little glaze. Sometimes I like orange sugar topping. Any of those are yummy.

Makes 4 very large muffins, or 8 regular size.

Martini anyone?

One of the things I like most about this time of year, is that tangerines are plentiful. I LOVE tangerines……especially the Satsuma, easy to peel, seedless ones. I am happy just sitting down peeling one after another….plopping those wonderful, juicy little segments into my mouth. But what I really love to do with them, is to juice them and make tangerinitinis. OHHHHH YESSSSSSS. It is my favorite martini. Maybe my favorite drink over all. It’s so delicious and refreshing. I recently discovered bottled, pure, fresh tangerine juice at my local market. It is really good and I would use it if I didn’t have fresh tangerines on hand. But please take the time to juice some fresh tangerines….you will love this drink. You may want  to try mixing the juice with champagne…..or try a tangerita (margarita). Cheers!!

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Tangerinitini

3 parts tangerine juice (or more, or less)
1 part good vodka (or more, or less)
just a wee squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
sugar and tangerine zest mixed together (for the rim)

Rub a piece of tangerine all around the rim of a martini glass. Dip the rim into the sugar and zest mixture. Chill in freezer for a few minutes. Squeeze tangerines and pour juice into a shaker ( I just use a jar). Add some ice, your vodka and lemon juice. Shake, shake, shake. Pour liquid into the chilled martini glass. Sometimes I pour the ice in too, sometimes I don’t. That’s it….take a sip. First you get hit with that zesty sugar and then you get that cold liquid yumminess. AHHHHH. So good. So, so good. Enjoy. Put your feet up, relax. You’re going to be happy!!


Better than a BLT………….

 

Everyone has heard of a BLT….bacon, lettuce, tomato. Or, how about a BLTA….A, as in avocado. Well, how’s about a SBATS…..salmon, bacon, avocado, tomato, spinach. I mixed a wee bit of lemon juice in with my mayo. That gave it a nice little tang. It is one delicious sandwich…maybe even my favorite samich!! But it sure is messy. You can use turkey bacon if you want a healthier sandwich, but really?  I used an apple wood smoked bacon and that combination of smoky bacon with salmon….well, OMG. I was saying M-m-mmmm the whole time I was eating it. It would have been even better with a nice glass of Riesling or Pinot Grigio. But since it’s only Monday and it’s a work night, I refrained. Damn.

Well, go get yourself a nice piece of fresh salmon and get busy! Seriously…MAKE THIS! Yum-m-m-m-mmmm.  Oh! napkins….you’ll need em.

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SBATS (Salmon, bacon, avocado, tomato, spinach) Sandwich

approx. 8 oz cooked fresh salmon (per sandwich)
sliced tomato
fresh spinach leaves
sliced avocado
crispy slices of bacon
mayo mixed with a squirt of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
toasted bread (I recommend sourdough or something that will hold up to a lot of messiness)

Toast your bread, spread with lemon mayo. Start constructing your sandwich, starting with the spinach leaves. (this will prevent juices from going to the bottom and getting your bread all soggy and mushy) Take a big bite, say YUM (with a mouthful of food) and gobble it up. Have lots of napkins handy….or wear a bib. 🙂