Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Bacon aka Chicken Balls

*All opinions about Benton's Bacon are my own. I was not paid by Benton's to write this post. 

Here's another recipe from my Dad.  Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Bacon or as it's known by our friends as Chicken Balls. This is one of those amazing grilling recipes you'll use all summer long. 

Here's what you need from the store. 

boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound of your favorite bacon (I used Benton's Bacon)
your favorite BBQ sauce

So first things first. The bacon. THE BACON! If you like bacon...(lets be real you love it) have to try Benton's Bacon

When you make this bacon your house smells like bacon heaven for days. If you open your windows the neighbors come over asking what you're making and if they can have some. (I am not joking we've really had some neighbors come over.) 

And the good news is that you can order it online just click on the link above!

This stuff is used by some pretty big restaurants all over the US. Not to mention Allen the owner is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. If you don't believe me that this stuff is amazing just Google Benton's Bacon and read about it....back to the recipe.

See how thick this bacon is! 

Cut a large pocket through the biggest part of your chicken.

Make sure you don't cut all the way through.

I like to go ahead and place my cheese in a bowl so there's no chicken germs in the remaining cheese as well as preheating the grill so it's ready to go.

Stuff as much cheese and other fillings you like into the chicken.

Now comes the fun part. Wrap the bacon around the chicken trying to close the pocket you made.  (Since I'm using Benton's Bacon I'm only going to wrap half my chicken because this is some powerful bacon flavors. With regular bacon I get from the grocery store I wrap these suckers up so you can't even see the chicken.)

Once you're happy with how things look use some toothpicks to secure the bacon into place.

And now we're ready to grill.

I used a towel to wipe oil on the grill grates and then placed my chicken in the center of the grill.

After about 5 minutes I flip the chicken over.

Then slather some BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken.

I continue to flip and sauce the chicken till it's thoroughly cooked. I prefer to use a meat thermometer to make sure it's 165 degrees.

The kids decided to eat an early dinner so the hubs and I got to eat on our own while they played with all the tupperware they could find in the kitchen.

Don't forget to take the toothpicks out before you dig in!

Who's ready for dinner!

What's your favorite grilling recipe?

*All opinions about Benton's Bacon are my own. I was not paid by Benton's to write this post. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

There are a few meals out there that no matter what I can out eat just about any grown man...Chicken Parmesan is one of them. I absolutely love this recipe. (Thanks Dad for teaching me how to make this!)

What you need:
package of chicken breasts 
1 egg
Italian bread crumbs
your favorite spaghetti sauce

To start pour some bread crumbs on a plate and whisk your egg in a bowl. 

Then preheat a pan with olive oil, preheat the over to 375 degrees, and put a layer of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.

Place your first piece of chicken into the whisked egg and turn it so it's coated. Then place the chicken in your breadcrumbs coating it the best you can.

Once your pan is nice and hot place the chicken on the pan and cook till the breadcrumbs form a nice golden crust.

It already looks delicious...but hold on there's more to do.

Once both sides are nice and golden lay all the chicken in the baking dish.

I tend to be overly generous on the cheese. I go ahead and place a layer on top of the chicken while they're still hot from the skillet. (My dad doesn't do this.)

Go ahead and pour your spaghetti sauce over the chicken and cheese. I like to be very generous with the sauce because all of the extra cheese makes the sauce extra yummy on the spaghetti.

Add another heaping helping of cheese on top of the sauce.

Cover with foil.

Make sure the foil is nice and snug so your sauce doesn't spill all over your oven. (I like to keep the bottom of mine foiled so cut down on cleaning.)

While your chicken is in the oven get your spaghetti ready with a boiling pot of water with about 10 minutes of cook time left

I also like to make extra spaghetti for leftovers with the sauce from the chicken Parmesan.

After 35-45 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken is) you can pull your baking dish out of the oven and remove the foil and see a beautiful saucy cheesy dinner staring at you.

Time to load up your plate. You can eat a salad or a vegetable with this...but in my opinion that takes up space from getting seconds and I'm totally going back for seconds. Make sure so scoop some of that cheesy sauce onto your spaghetti.

You really can't go wrong with layers of cheese on top of chicken.

I like to have a nice piece of crusty bread to soak up all the last bits of sauce and cheese on my plate. 

A nice glass of red wine and a filling dinner and I'm ready to relax...the dishes can wait till tomorrow right?

What's your favorite Italian inspired meal?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Zipper Pouch

So I decided to make some zippered pouches because lets face can use them for anything. I have one I use to keep snacks for the kids in my purse. Another holds a mini first aid kit. And another holds the make up and such for myself.

So for these pouches I picked a coral fabric for my outer and this white chevron for the inner fabric. Since this isn't going to be an overly fancy zipper pouch I chose a simple zipper to go with it. 

For these pouches my fabric is 9inches by 4 inches and the zipper is 7inches.

To begin lay your first piece of outer fabric right side up and lay your zipper right side down. 

Then place your inner fabric right side down on top of the outer fabric and zipper. Make sure to line it up with the zipper and outer fabric.

Pin the fabric and zippers into place. 

I'm going to mention there may be an easier way to do this. I know there's a fancy zipper footer for the sewing machine but I've never used it. So I just sewed a very small seam along the top of the fabric with the zipper sandwiched between.

Flip your outer fabric so it's right side up and you've got part of your pouch made!

I've mentioned how much I dislike ironing before. So if you want your pouch to look really nice you can go ahead and press that pouch and make it really nice or even add a seam on the outside. 

This is just going to hold the excessive amounts of sharpies and pens in my purse so I'm not too concerned with presentation this time. 

Now for the other side. We take our second piece of outer fabric and lay it right side up. Lay the zipper right side down on top. 

Then we add the second inner fabric right side down.

Pin the fabric and zipper again and sew.

When you lay your pouch out this is what it should look like.

Now it's time to sew it all together. First make sure you undo your zipper so you can turn your pouch right side out after sewing.

You're going to line up your two outer fabrics together and your two inner fabrics together and pin them in place. 

I place a pin horizontally  so I know not to sew in between the other two pins on either side. I'm going to start on one side and sew all the way around leaving a small opening to turn the pouch right side out.

One your pouch is sewn leaving the small opening clip all four corners. 

Once you've clipped the corners you should have something like this.

Using the small opening you left on the inner fabric pull the outer fabric through the hole.

Pull until your pouch is all right side out fabric.

Now find your small opening and fold the edges in and sew it shut.

Push the inner fabric into the outer fabric. And you've done it! You have a zippered pouch!

Again I'm not really into ironing but if you want press that sucker and make it really nice go for it!

Now organize your bag with zippered pouches!