Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spicy BBQ Chicken Rub

You ever color your own hair?  Well, I have very dark black hair and can you guess what else?  Yep.  Those stubborn pesky grays which have increased at an alarming rate over the last few years.  (I feel as though I should be concerned.)  To avoid turning skunkish, I've been coloring my hair.

With my wild sticky black hair and adorned in my "hair color" shirt, which is merely an old and very large men's North Face Tshirt, wouldn't you know the doorbell rings!  I scared the UPS man.  Poor guy couldn't leave fast enough.  I'm not sure if he was frightened by the hair, put off by the scent, or afraid of my goopy gloved hands. Oh well, at least my hair looks fabulous again.  AND I received our replacement kindle fire for the one my children already managed to mangle since receiving it for Christmas.  Thank you Amazon warranty!

I wasn't the only one getting all prettied up!  I gave the chicken a massage with this delicious rub then topped the chicken with my favorite BBQ sauce and baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Perfect!

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Store in an airtight container.

Use about 3 Tablespoons as rub for 4 chicken breasts.

Monday, February 6, 2012

BFF Peanut Butter Pie

I love hangin' out with my best friend.

Over the weekend we went to paint pottery at Color Me Mine and have some eats and drinks at Colley Cantina.  We laughed and laughed and laughed until we couldn't laugh any more.

We made these awesome mugs!

I'm lucky to have a friend that knows so much about me and still loves me anyway.  We love to laugh.  We love Mexican and Margaritas.  We love to thrift shop together.  We watch the same great movies.  We have a strange sense of humor.  We are flamingos in a flock of pigeons.  She is the pop to my tart, the star to my burst and the peanut to my butter.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust or chocolate cookie crust

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners sugar. Mix in peanut butter.  Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon into crust.  Cover, and freeze until firm.

*NOTE:  The crust can be made with graham crackers and a tablespoon of cocoa powder if you don't have chocolate cookies.  Nutter butter cookies also make a great crust!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chocolate Donut Cake

So my little baby girl is growing up!  I can't believe I'll have a middle schooler very soon.  Not that I haven't experienced middle school with our boys, but it's really exciting to see your child embrace their opportunities!

I had a fantastic meeting with, whom I consider, one of the best ever school guidance counselors in the world.  The woman is a saint and she is so special because the enthusiasm she has for her work just beams out of her room like sunshine after a rainy day!  Anyway, after telling me wonderful things about the options available in our area, I was really excited to get started on the process that lies ahead of us.  Applying to a middle school.

You're probably thinking, "Why in the heck do you have to apply to middle school?"  Well, my smarty pants of a kid is just that.  Incredibly smart, amazing grades, tests super high on benchmarks, and she is gifted!  So, she is being encouraged to take advantage of special programs our school system offers!  I'm totally proud.
And she's just so darn cute!

So tonight we celebrated her achievements with her favorite dinner, Fettucini Alfredo.  I also made a quick Academy Chicken and made a delicious Chocolate Donut Cake for dessert.

The best part of the donut cake is in fact the frosting.  I swear it tastes like it belongs on a long john at Krispy Kreme.  It's so thick, creamy and glossy!

The cake is just a basic Golden Vanilla bundt cake.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg, at room temperature
2 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour Bundt pan; set aside.

Beat granulated sugar, butter, egg and egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add milk and vanilla; mix well. Add flour, lemon peel (if using), baking powder and salt; beat about 2 minutes or until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Gently loosen cake from pan with knife and turn out onto wire rack; cool completely.

For the frosting:

2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons skim or 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.