anyone can cook

I have always believed anyone can cook.  Of course the movie Ratatouille definitely sealed the deal for me, but I digress.

For each person “cooking” (or baking) looks different.  Some are recipe followers, some follow the ingredient lists on recipes, and others just have a vision they are able to execute apart from a recipe.  Some people love to bake and are great at it; others have mastered the art of cooking; some dabble between the two.  Some people are gourmet chefs and love the challenge of a long recipe; others favor the short simple tasty treats they can whip up.

I fall into the following categories: work smart, not hard, follow the recipe’s ingredient list (the amounts of each are negotiable), healthier cooking preferred but no food, no matter how healthy it is, will NOT be eaten if it doesn’t taste good, so, it MUST taste good.  I prefer to cook over bake as well.

Here are a few recipes I tried recently.  We really liked both of them.

Slow Cooker Bacon-Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken

For the original recipe you can Print This Recipe Print it here; the revised recipe is below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts each cut into 3 large pieces
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce – we like Sweet Baby Rays
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice fresh or from a bottle
  • 4 small apples peeled and chopped, I used granny smith and gala
  • 8 slices bacon – I ended up using a whole packet of bacon
  • crushed red pepper
  • chili powder
  • sraracha sauce
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and peeled/chopped apples. I also added a little crushed red pepper, chili powder and sriracha sauce to add a small kick.
  2. Put a small amount of the sauce mixture in the bottom of greased aluminum foil lined 9×13 glass baking dish.
  3. Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon and place in the glass dish.
  4. Pour BBQ-apple mixture over chicken and bake on 350 for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is done.  My oven bakes a little cool, so I set my oven to 375 and the meal baked for about 50 minutes, then I turned on the low broiler to slight toast the bacon.

The chicken turned out very soft and the bacon melted in your mouth.  Even the bbq/sweet apples were yummy to eat!

________________________________________________________

Here is the second recipe I baked recently.  It was a perfect appetizer to bring on short-ish notice because I didn’t need to buy anything and it was easy to make.  It actually turned out to be a nice supper for some small kids at the party we were attending.

Easy Pizza Bites – original recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ball of pizza dough (I buy mine in bulk from the Sam’s pizza counter!)
  • 56 pepperoni slices (56? I mean really? just use 2 slices per roll)
  • Block of cheese (I use Colby & Monterey Jack)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Parmesan
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  1. Cut the block of cheese into at least 28 squares.
  2. Pinch off a slightly bigger than golf ball amount of pizza dough and roll flat.  Stack pepperoni and cheese and another pepperoni on top.
  3. Gather up the edges of the dough making a little bundle.  Make sure to close the seams well.
  4. Line the rolls up (seam side down) in a greased 9×13 in. pan.  Brush with beaten egg.  Sprinkle with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.  Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.
  5. Serve the rolls with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Happy cooking/baking!

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