Jul 31, 2013

Lucious Lemon Bars

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Cooks Note: Keeping with the Lemon theme this week, I decided, of course, Lemon Bars! These bars are really delish, and I really didn't expect to have to change anything since they are from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. But there is one change I would make. I would not change the recipe ingredients at all, because the taste is amazing, but I had a hell of a time with the bars getting stuck to the parchment paper, so maybe I would spray it with cooking spray prior to baking. Other than that, I think this is a great recipe worth making again and again. Enjoy! 
4oz unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Confectioners sugar for dusting
1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degree (F) and line a 9x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare your crust by mixing together the softened butter, sugar and salt. Once you have a smooth mixture, add in the flour and mix until you get a soft dough. Press the dough into your prepared baking pan, then let it chill in the fridge until your oven is ready. Bake the crust for 15 - 20 minutes, until it is just slightly golden brown.
2. Let the crust chill and prepare your filling. Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice and flour and pour over the chilled crust. Bake (at 350 degree F again) for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the middle no longer jiggles. Let cool completely and dust with confectioners' sugar before eating. 
Original Pinspiration from ShopGirl

Jul 30, 2013

Pink Lemonade Muddy Buddies

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Cook's Note: I had a Lemon themed party and made these yummy creations just for fun. They turned out pretty good, but I had to modify the original recipe a bit. I served them in the cute cups pictured here and these were FUN and a real hit!

What You Will Need:

8 cups Rice Chex Cereal

1 cup white chocolate almond bark (or White Chocolate Chips)

1/2 cup Store Bought Vanilla Frosting

4 Teaspoons of Pink Lemonade mix (such as Country Time)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

Pastel Colored Sprinkles

Cute Serving Cups, if serving at a party


In a large glass bowl, microwave the white chocolate and the frosting and pink lemonade for 1 minute, add the vanilla. Mix together by hand until mixture is nice and smooth.

Pour the cereal and into the glass bowl and use a large rubber spatula to mix the cereal until it's very well coated in the chocolate mixture.

Pour the powdered sugar into a gallon sized zip top bag.

Use a large spoon (or whatever method works for you) to scoop the cereal into the bag. You can work with half of the batch at a time. Seal the bag and shake until the cereal is coated in the powdered mixture.

Next, pour the mixture into a large bowl and sprinkle with the candy sprinkles to give it a pretty look – mix well with large spatula. Now… let it “set” for a bit. Since this is made with frosting, it needs to harden for a bit before serving.

For my lemon themed party… I placed the Muddy Buddies in cute little serving cups that I bought at Michael’s (as seen in the photo). This makes it easy to eat and keeps grubby hands out of a big bowl J

This “Pinspiration” comes from Something Swanky

Jul 29, 2013

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

It's LEMON WEEK here at Suburban Epicurean!
Every month, we will dedicate one week to one of our favorite food categories. Keep Checking back all week for yummy LEMON recipes for you and your family!!

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Cook's Note: I made this delicious recipe for a Lemon Themed Party I had and it was DELICIOUS!

I modified the recipe by adding already cooked, shredded Chicken into this pasta salad and it was a wonderful party food for guests - I got rave reviews and will make this again! This is also a great dish to have for dinner because it includes meat, pasta and veggies!

What You Will Need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup organic chicken broth
2 lemons (juice and zest)
2 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Box rotini pasta
1-2 Breasts of Shredded Chicken (already cooked prior to preparing this recipe and cooled)
 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
-  ½-1 bag of baby spinich
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 10 oz package of frozen peas, thawed


Boil water and start to cook pasta according to package directions. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic  very quickly (less than 1 minute so that it does not burn. Add the heavy whipping cream, lemon juice and zest, chicken broth and salt/pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat. Simmer sauce for about 15 minutes. It will reduce and start to thicken.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the sauce to the cooked pasta. Add the vegetables & chicken and add the cheese last.

Toss Well and place in a large container and place in the fridge to chill. It's best to make this pasta a day in advance before serving in order to let the juices marinate - it will actually taste better the longer it sits!
 This "Pinspiration" Comes from Jamie Krell - Food Fix

Jul 28, 2013

Sweet Baby Ray's Crock Pot Chicken Sandwiches

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Cook's Note: I really have nothing else to say but this - WOW this is SO EASY and delicious - your family will thank you for making this and will keep coming back for more - ENJOY!

What You Will Need: 

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 bottle sweet baby ray's bbq sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder         


In a bowl - Mix BBQ sauce with vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and garlic powder.

Place chicken in crockpot (still frozen is ok). Pour sauce mixture over chicken.

Cook on High for 5-6 hours.
Remove Chicken Breasts from Crockpot and place on a plate and shred with a fork - it will fall apart easily.  Place chicken in a bowl - then using a ladle - spoon the sauce from the crock pot over it and mx it up in the bowl.
Serve on Toasted Sesame Buns for Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches!!:) happy
A GREAT SIDE FOR THIS DISH: Sweet Potato Fries with syrup as the dipping sauce!
This "Pinspiration" Comes from Just a Pinch

Jul 26, 2013

Cheesy Chicken with Stuffing

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Cooks Note: I loved this! It is a lot like another dish I make called Swiss Chicken, just with Cheddar. I had all the ingredients in my house and it took literally 5 min to put together. This is one of those easy weeknight meals you pair with some veggies and you are done. The only changes I made was to add another 1/2 can of Cream of Chicken soup, because my family likes all the gunk on top more than the chicken, and I added about 3 Tbsp. of melted butter on top to brown the stuffing. Enjoy!

4-5 chicken breasts
1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used 1 1/2)
1-2 C shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2 cups)
salt and pepper
1 pkg of Stuffing, prepared according to package directions.
3 Tbsp. Melted Butter for top


 Lay chicken breasts in a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Mix cream of chicken and cheese and spread over top of chicken.  Sprinkle stuffing on top.  Pour melted butter over stuffing. Bake on 350 for 35-45 minutes.
Original Pinspiration from JM Kuene

Jul 25, 2013

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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Cooks Note: What I first noticed with these is that they said 5 Minutes. And while they were fast, I would say it was more like 10. These are yummy and can be used as a breakfast or a dessert or even just a snack. Here is what I would do differently: I would flour my surface before dealing with the crescent rolls, mine stuck and were a mess, and make sure the seams are gone, otherwise there is a lot of oozing. Next, I would use about 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree instead of 1 cup. I used a 3/4 cup when I did it and I thought it was still too much. Other than that, they were great. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

18 ounce can crescent rolls
4Tbsps. butter, melted
1Tbsp. light brown sugar
2tsp. Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus (I used Pumpkin Pie Spice)
1cup pumpkin puree (1/2 cup)
½cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. milk


Preheat oven to 375 F. Set aside a muffin tin.

Mix the light brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice into the melted butter.
Open the crescent rolls and roll out on a counter or large cutting board. Separate into two long rectangles and use your fingers to pinch the seams together.
Brush the butter/sugar mixture evenly onto each rectangle.
Spread the pumpkin puree evenly across each rectangle.
From the long side of each rectangle, roll up as tightly as you can. Slice into one-inch pieces and place each piece in a cavity in the muffin tin.

NOTE: You can also put these next to each other, monkey bread style! To make muffin tin clean up easy, use muffin wrappers! Bake 16-19 minutes, until lightly browned.

While rolls are baking, whisk powdered sugar and milk together in a small bowl.

Remove rolls from the oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls and serve.

Pinspiration from Key Ingredient

Tortellini Feta Salad

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Cooks Note: Wow, it has been a long time! I am a slacker and this is what happens when my kids are home, it consumes me. So, sorry for the long pause in the posts, but I am back!

So this Tortellini Salad looked really good and very pretty for Summer. And it was really good, with a few modifications as usual. I doubled the dressing, because I like a lot of flavor and I feel like it needed it with that much tortellini. I also used about 3/4 of the red onion and 1 cup of Feta and I topped the salad with a little Parmesan cheese before serving. I will make this again, it was easy, pretty and flavorful. Enjoy!


1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pit removed and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped (I used 3/4 of a red onion)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used 1 cup)

For the Dressing: (I doubled the dressing)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain the tortellini and rinse with cold water.
2. Place the tortellini in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until salad is well coated. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator.
Note-this salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Pinspiration from Two Peas and Their Pod

Jul 13, 2013

Jimmy Carter Cake

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Cook's Note: I made this for a family friend who loves anything peanut butter and chocolate. I searched and searched and ran across this recipe. This is perfect! Easy, pretty and delicious (so, I am told!) Enjoy!
Jimmy Carter Cake - A Delicious Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layered Dessert

What You Will Need:

2/3 cup of dry roasted peanuts, chopped

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted cold butter

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 small package instant pudding, vanilla flavor

1 small package instant pudding, chocolate flavor

2-3/4 cup of milk

1 Tub of Cool Whip

Extra chopped peanuts for garnish

Chocolate for grating


Place peanuts in food processor and chop until fine. Combine the peanuts and flour and cut in butter; press out into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; set aside and cool completely. Put crust in fridge to chill a little.
Cream the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Carefully spread on top of the crust layer. Put in fridge to chill.
Whisk puddings together, add milk and whisk for about 2 minutes or until pudding begins to thicken. Carefully spread pudding on top of the peanut butter & cream cheese layer, taking care not to disturb the peanut butter layer. Put in fridge to chill.
Let Cool Whip reach room temperature so that its easy to spread. Carefully spread the Cool Whip over the pudding layer taking care not to disturb the pudding layer. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and grate chocolate over top. 
Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.
This "Pinspiration" comes from Deep South Dish