Monday, March 22, 2010

Maple Syrup

I make sure I always have a bottle of maple extract in my pantry because if I do I will never be without syrup for pancakes, waffles, and french toast! My family lives for these breakfast items so this is a good thing!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter


1.While I am making my pancakes I put the first four ingredients into a sauce pan and tun on the heat to high. Stir to mix all ingredients.
2. When it starts to boil turn heat to med-med low. making sure it does not boil over, (it smells bad on your burner and is a pain to clean up).
3. When my pancakes are done I take off the heat and add the vanilla and butter. (about 10 minutes)
4. Stir and serve warm.

Jo's tip's: Store extra syrup in the fridge. If you let it sit too long in the fridge it will form sugar crystals, but hot water cleans those up nicely.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fiesta Lime Chicken

On Friday My good friend Sabrina and I went out for a girls night. (We had been planning it since Christmas and just never got around to it.) For dinner we went to Applebee's. And she ordered the fiesta lime chicken. She said she ordered it every time and she would be very happy if I could recreate it for her. So, in honor of Sabrina I give you wanna be Fiesta Lime Chicken! (We also went to the bead store and made watch bands it was really fun!)


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (grilled all the way through in the bbq)
2 cups ranch dressing (I suggest the homemade ranch packet kind because it doesn't seem to be as strong)
1/2 cup salsa (pureed in a food processor)
1-1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
about 1/4 bag crushed up tortilla chips
1-2 limes


1. Cook up the chicken on the barbecue and set aside.
2. On four individual plates, put a pile of crushed up tortilla chips.
3. Mix together ranch and salsa puree.
4. Put a spoon full of ranch mixture over each pile of tortilla chips, covering them.
5. Put one chicken breast on each pile of chip and ranch mixture.
6. Add more sauce (optional).
7. Cover with cheese.
8. Put each plate under the broiler in the oven for about a minute each plate.
9. Squeeze some lime juice over each dish (optional)

Jo's tips: Serve with rice. We found this dish to be really strong do it is good to serve with rice and I mixed the chicken with the rice, it toned it down a bit. If you like ranch you will love this dish! It was also REALLY good with the avacado so I would recommend that as well if you like them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes
Yesterday while at the grocery store I saw saw something crazy!!!! They had shake and pour pancake batter! Apparently you add milk or whatever liquid it requires and shake. then you pour the batter to make the pancakes! I can not believe someone would pay money for THAT! I don't know maybe it is just me but is is sooooo easy to make your own pancake batter I just don't understand why people buy mixes. This recipe from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and has been a staple in our family for years. It is so easy my husband even makes it occasionally. I don't know, I make my own syrup too so maybe I'm just weird.


1 c flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Tbsp oil


1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large batter bowl and mix together.
2. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix with an electric hand mixer. (not for too long)
3. Pour onto a hot skillet and make the pancakes. (we all know how to do this part)

Jo's tips: If you don't have buttermilk you can add a few drops of lemon juice to the milk. Or just use plain milk (they are not buttermilk pancakes though!) I add the real buttermilk on special occasions because I don't always have it on hand, but it is so good when you use the real thing.