What makes something "Chewly Awesome"? Any type of food can achieve this status whether it be something sweet, savory, spicy or succulent. When it comes to amazing food, it's not just truly awesome; it's "Chewly Awesome!" This blog is about a mom who wants to feed her family the best and doesn't want to be a slave in the kitchen in order to make that happen. My promise to you is that you will never find a single recipe for Tuna Casserole on this blog! Now that is "Chewly Awesome!"

If you have a dish that is "Chewly Awesome", and you would like for it to be featured on the blog. Email the recipe to talietiger@gmail.com!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oven Roasted Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

Have you ever tasted a dish so delicious that you just can't wait for that next bite?  This is one of those dishes.  Sorry that I didn't take any pictures of this last night when I made it, but my phone was dead.   I will be making it again soon, and I promise to post pictures.  Until then, you will have to use your imagination - better yet, just make it and see for yourself.  

I found this picture on the internet to show
you where to put the butter.  This is not my hand.
Since it is cooked at such a high heat, the skin of the chicken gets this crisp to it that is just delectable; a great alternative to fried chicken.   To prepare your chicken, gently stick one finger between the skin and the breast and make a little pocket beneath the membrane (this is where you will place your compound butter). While your chicken is roasting, all of that butter will baste your chicken and run down to flavor your potatoes.  You will end up with this delicious pan gravy on top of your potatoes - perfect to sop bread in... it is scrumptious!

It helps if you have a roasting pan for this dish since you do need at least a 3 inch deep pan.  You don't need a roasting rack because you want the chicken to sit right on top of the potatoes, but the depth is important since I'm sure you don't want a mess to clean up in your oven!  Another important tip is to use regular olive oil - NOT EXTRA VIRGIN- so it doesn't smoke your kitchen up.

This is the olive oil I use.

Serves 6

Compound Butter: (Mix all together)
1 stick butter
6 garlic Cloves - minced
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon Parsley

3 lb Yukon Gold potatoes or Red potatoes - cleaned and quartered
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 tablespoons regular Olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Pepper

6 Skin on-bone in Chicken Breast
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees making sure oven rack is at the bottom.

Place potatoes and chopped onion on the bottom of roasting pan and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic power and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss together. Spread them out evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Take your compound butter and place 1 tablespoon under the skin of each chicken breast then massage the butter into the breast.  Place your chicken on top of your potatoes.  Spread any leftover butter on the outside of each chicken breast.  Drizzle your chicken with olive oil (this makes the skin crispy) then sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Bake at 500 degrees for 45 min. to 1 hour or until the juices run clear. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 160 degrees at the thickest part of the chicken (make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone).

Remove from the oven and take a bite of one of those potatoes - yes, it is Chewly Awesome!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Easy Meatloaf Muffins

Lorin, my daughter, has been sick for the past two weeks. First, it was chicken pox.  Now, she has an upper respiratory infection, and she has been so sweet to share it with her mommy!  Needless to say, tonight's meal needs to be extra easy!
I have been craving my yummy meatloaf, and since I have all the ingredients on hand, this will be my easy, yummy meal.  Making meatloaf muffins has many advantages over the classic "loaf".  First of all, the muffins cook in almost half the time.  Secondly, they taste better, and you don't have to fight over who gets the yummy "heel".  Also, they are cute and already in individual serving sizes, plus kids love them more because they look like muffins.   Grab your muffin pan and get ready for a Chewly Awesome! meal.

I served this with Green Beans and Roasted Baby Baker Potatoes

2 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 bell pepper finely chopped
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 Eggs beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin pan

Combine and mix your beef, onion, bell pepper, soup mix, black pepper, garlic powder and bread crumbs together.  Add your beaten eggs and Worcestershire Sauce.  Mix until combined.

Mix topping ingredients together

Divide into 12 muffin cups  making sure the tops are flat.  Spread topping onto each one.

Bake 35 minutes or until they reach at least 160 degrees inside.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heart shaped marshmallows roasting over an open fire...

Tonight, we roasted heart shaped marshmallows in the fireplace.  So much fun! It really felt like we were camping out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

I have a ladies meeting tomorrow and was asked to prepare my White Chocolate Bread pudding.  I normally make this dessert whenever we have a dinner party to attend because it is such a crowd pleasing dish.
I can remember the first time I had bread pudding without raisins when I was a little girl; it was heavenly!  Do you know how tedious it was to have to go through and pick out all those raisins before you could enjoy dessert?  Way too much trouble! That first bite of non-raisin bread pudding started a revolution inside of me - never would I order bread pudding that had raisins again, and I will certainly never make my own bread pudding with raisins! Of course, fill free to add them to yours (1/2 cup should do it)...just don't invite me over that night.
Ignore the small bite taken out of the corner of the bread pudding -
so yummy that I couldn't wait til after the picture was taken!

serves 8

1 french bread loaf (about 8 oz)
3 cups plus 1/2 cups of whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 -11 oz packages of high quality white chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

Cut french bread into once inch bite sized cubes  - enough pieces to lay in a 9x13 inch pan
Lay piece out on a baking pan and bake until golden and dry (about 10 min) Set aside to cool then place in your 9x13 inch pan
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F

In a large sauce pan, combine 3 cups of heavy cream (reserve the 1/2 cup for later) and 1/2 cup of milk and sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Turn heat off and add 1 pkg of white chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate is melted.

Whisk egg yolks and eggs together in a large mixing bowl and gradually whisk in your white chocolate mixture.  Pour 1/2 of this mixture into your 9x13 pan over the bread cubes and let stand for 15 minutes.  Gently mix in remaining chocolate, cover with foil and bake for 45 min.  Uncover and back an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

At this point, you can let it cool, cover it and put in the fridge if you are baking this a head of time (up to a day ahead).  Just let your pan come to room temp from the fridge and then heat up the bread pudding for 30 min. on 350 before serving.

White Chocolate topping:
Bring remaining 1/2 cup of whipping cream to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat and add other bag of white chocolate chips.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Drizzle white chocolate over each individual serving of bread pudding.

Enjoy this Chewly Awesome! dessert :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches - Bama style!

There are many advantages to shopping at a grocery store that has a real live butcher employed there - Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches are one of them!  Living in Birmingham makes it hard to find a good PCSS; especially since Philly Connection closed down. Even though Salem's in Homewood makes a great one, they are only open for lunch, and it's a bit of a drive just to fill a craving. I ended up having to make up my own PCSS. These sandwiches are wonderful, and I use my secret seasoning on them...well, I guess it's not really a secret; it is just a seasoning that many people don't know about. The best part is that it is made right here in Alabama! It is Southern Flavor Charbroil Seasoning, and it gives your food that "right off the charcoal grill" flavor that is Chewly Awesome! You can't find it everywhere, but Piggly Wiggly sometimes has it, and you can always find it at the General Store at Pepper Place (you can read more about the General Store on Birmingham Mom's General store at Pepper Place article.)

The best cut of meat for a PCSS is a rib-eye, but that isn't always in the budget.  If they are on sale, by all means, grab a few up and ask your butcher to shave them for you.  If you can't get your hands on some rib-eye, chuck eye steak will work.  Just ask your butcher to slice it thin for philly cheese steak, and they should be able to do it.  As a last resort, you can always chop it up in your food processor; it is not the ideal method, but it is better than no PCSS at all!

Makes 4 large six-inch sandwiches

2 lbs of sliced steak
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of Moore's or Dale's  (I use Moore's because it has less salt)
1/2 onion sliced (optional)
1/2 bell pepper sliced (optional)
6 sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 Tablespoon of Southern Flavor Charcoal seasoning if available *
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

2 French Bread Loaves (See Homemade French Bread - Yes, You Can!) cut in half and sliced down the center
8 slices provolone cheese or 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

*If you don't have Southern Flavor seasoning, you can use the following:

1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Put a pan of water in your oven while it is preheating to 350 degrees F.  Put your french bread in the oven for 10 min. to steam it.  This will give you that nice soft bread that is great on a PCSS!

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in your pan and let it heat to medium high heat

Add steak, and seasonings including Moore's or Dale's


Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms

Cook until beef is done and onions are translucent stirring frequently

Lay cheese on top of steak and allow it to melt.

Put the mean into the bread. Slice and serve :)

I like to have mayo and Texas Pete hot sauce on my cheese steak sandwich, but you can make yours however you like! :) Enjoy!