*Copycat* Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken with Homemade Honey Mustard

In central Virginia we say, “Wait 15 minutes. The weather will change.” This storm has proven the saying to be true today. All day, every 15 minutes. So far we’ve had rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain, and hail. Now, it’s decided it would like to sleet, but threw in a pinch of thunder and a dash of lightening. Seriously?! Ice Lightning? Go home Weather, you’re drunk.

Really though, this wonky winter weather recipe has our family staying in doors for the rest of the afternoon and evening. That put the kibosh on my plans to pick up the carry-out I’d been craving for dinner. Bummer? Not anymore! I’m making my favorite restaurant chicken right at home. Delicious dinner, and staying safe and dry? Don’t mind if I do. Nobody’s going to ‘rain’ on this girl’s parade today.

Alice Springs Chicken has never tasted better than it does when made fresh in the comfort of your own home. This savory (and cheesy, we can’t forget cheesy) chicken is even better with our easy, homemade honey mustard sauce for dipping. If Alice Springs is your thing kind of chicken, don’t let a night indoors stop your from enjoying your favorite dish.

*Copycat* Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken with Homemade Honey Mustard

4 Sons 'R' Us: Alice Springs Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch in thickness (if they’re really thick it can be easier to just fillet them)
seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, halved
honey mustard (recipe below)
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese (cheddar will work as a substitute)

Directions

1. Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Remove bacon.  ***Do not discard grease.*** Saute chicken in the bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned.  Move chicken to a 9×13 pan.
3. Apply the honey mustard to each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.
4. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done.
5. Serve with extra honey mustard sauce for dipping.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Alice Springs Chicken & Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

1. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup mustard, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup honey, mixing well. Add more honey if necessary, depending on how spicy/strong your base mustard is.
2. Refrigerate and allow to ‘chill’ before using.

Nutella Crescents

Nutella, a dangerous friend indeed. Sometimes, though, sometimes … you just gotta give in to temptation. For better or for worse.

 These are so simple, they’re simply amazing! Prepare for them to disappear right before your eyes. Serve them immediately or (if you have will power) store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. While they’re to die for all by themselves, they go great with milk or coffee.

Nutella Crescents

4 Sons 'R' Us: Nutella Crescents

Nutella
1 tube of crescent rolls
chocolate syrup, for drizzling (optional)
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Unroll the crescents and spread each triangle with a huge healthy amount of Nutella.
3. Starting withe the wide ends, roll each triangle into crescent rolls. Place filled, rolled crescents on your parchment line baking sheet. Make sure to leave room for expansion as they bake.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let crescents cool completely after baking.
5. If desired, before devouring serving, lightly dust crescents with powdered sugar and then drizzle with chocolate syrup.
6. Serve with milk or coffee and enjoy!

4 Sons 'R' Us: Nutella Crescents

Nom Nom Nom

Warm Sausage & Kale Soup

Even when we’re all bundled up, with the cold weather settling in, after an afternoon spent outside with the kids I tend to need a little something extra to warm me up when I finally make it back inside, after herding the boys in to wash up for dinner. A pot of this soup hot on the stove is always just what the doctor ordered. It’s incredibly hearty & flavorful, and it includes an abundance of ‘good for you’ ingredients. Just one warm bowl of this Winter-weather fighting soup and the chill you brought in with you will magically melt away.

Warm Sausage & Kale Soup

4 Sons 'R' Us: Warm Sausage & Kale Soup

recipe adapted from Wine and Glue

1 lb package of Sweet Italian Sausages, casings removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tsp minced garlic
8 oz package white mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
32 oz chicken broth
1 cup noodles, elbow or small shells
15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

1. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook sausage until no longer pink, between five and seven minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, drain sausage.
2. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and mushrooms, breaking up the mushrooms as you add them.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about five minutes.
3. Toss in the kale, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook until the kale is wilted, about five minutes.
4. Add the chicken broth, and bring it to a boil.  Then add the noodles and cook about a minute shy of the package directions.
5. Toss in the beans, and stir in until they heat through. Serve with crusty bread & let it warm you up!

Crockpot Pizza Dip

Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving. Millions of people run around like chickens with their heads cut off, scouring stores for great deals and irresistibly good prices. Occasionally, myself included.

That being said, I have a minor obsession with the day after Thanksgiving for a different reason. In our home, that’s the day we go to the tree farm and carefully pick out and cut down our Christmas tree for the year. We roast marshmallows, we sip apple cider, and then we load up and head home to deck our halls. It’s one of my favorite days of the entire year. It’s also typically a big production, and I don’t want to waste a minute I don’t have to on anything else, including dinner. So usually that day, dinner is a fend for yourself night, or a snack supper. Last year, I made this recipe as part of our snack selection, and I am happy to say it will be returning again this evening. Easy for me, and a total kid favorite. Happy Mom, Happy Sons. All is merry & bright.

Whether you’ve been out fighting the crowds and shopping until you drop, you’re too busy bringing in the good cheer, or you’re hosting a family & friends this appetizer is sure to please your hungry crowd with hardly any effort at all on your part.

Crockpot Pizza Dip

4 Sons 'R' Us: Crockpot Pizza Dip

recipe adapted from Real House Moms

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 jar (8 oz) pizza sauce, or you can substitute spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup diced pepperoni slices
1 /2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage (optional)

Directions

1. Put all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for about 1 hour.
2. Once all ingredients are melted and stirred to combine, turn crockpot down to warm.
3. Serve warm with crusty bread slices.

Hamburger Steak with Onions & Gravy

I’ve had Hamburger Steaks (aka Salisbury steak) before, but I’ve never really liked it. I thought I just ‘wasn’t a fan’, but then I got to thinking. I love meatloaf. I love gravy. Something was always missing for me…flavor. On a whim, I decided to try my own hand at this classic dish. It still seemed like ‘Mission Impossible’. After my family’s first bite, we all agreed: Mission Complete! Not only were the ‘steaks’ jam-packed with flavor, but so was the simple gravy. And where can you go wrong with caramelized onions?! Take it from me, serve these juicy ‘steaks’ with mashed potatoes. You won’t want to waste a drop of gravy.

Hamburger Steaks with Onions & Gravy

4 Sons 'R' Us: Hamburger Steaks with onions & gravy

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt, divided
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth & 1 tbsp cooking sherry

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and steak seasoning. Form into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and onion in the oil until patties are nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef patties to a plate, and keep warm.
3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and drippings in the skillet. Stir in flour with a fork, scraping bits of beef off of the bottom as you stir. Gradually mix in the beef broth and sherry. Season with seasoned salt. Simmer and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the gravy thickens. Turn heat to low, return patties to the gravy, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve & enjoy!

{One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

It’s Sunday again. Sundays I find myself wondering why my family wants dinner every single night. I mean I fed them last night. I’m kidding, kinda. Sundays I want to relax. All. Day. Long. I want to read my book. I want to curl up on the couch with my boys and watch movies or our favorite shows. I want to play with them on the playground. I want to laugh, a lot, and make blanket forts. I want to take an afternoon  nap. I want to do so many things. What I absolutely do not want to do on a Sunday, is cook dinner.

Still, the family has to eat. As a solution, I try to find quick, easy recipes that don’t require a lot of work on my part. ‘One pot wonder’ meals are a favorite of mine on Sundays. Little work, and even less clean-up required afterwards. This Lo Mein couldn’t have been any easier to make, or any more flavorful. It’s everything I want in a dinner, especially on a night I don’t want to cook.

{One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Mein

4 Sons 'R' Us: {One Pot Wonder} Chicken Lo Meinrecipe adapted from The Wholesome Dish

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 lb spaghetti, or lo mein noodles
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch long strips
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin 3 inch long strips
1 bunch green onions, white part thinly sliced and the green part cut into 3 inch long strips
4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions
1. Add the chicken, then the pasta, then the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot or dutch oven, and cover. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce to a simmer.
2. Cook covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until most of the liquid is gone and the chicken is cooked through.

Breakfast Enchiladas

Brinner? Brinner. Breakfast for Dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? The kids think it’s an awesome treat, and it’s almost always cheaper for me than our regular dinner fare.

Fun ( little known) Fact for the day: the word ‘Dinner’ used to refer to breakfast.   The word “dinner” comes from the Old French word “disnar”, which in fact means “breakfast”. To read more on how “this meal that bears the name (translated) “breakfast” is now the meal we eat before we start the fast and the literal translation of “dinner” is now the word we used to describe our early morning meal of breakfast” visit Today I Found Out. I think I heard the sons groan when I started rattling off the history of the word. Ooops! But, seriously, who can blame me for wanting to force feed their brains all these super interesting factoids? But I digress…

Bringing it back to…breakfast enchiladas. This is our family favorite when it comes to breakfast for dinner. Did I mention that these are also extremely quick to prepare? Easy, cheap, and tasty? For us that’s the perfect ‘this recipe’s a keeper’ trifecta.

Next time you’re craving those breakfast-y flavors for dinner, give these enchiladas a try.

Breakfast Enchiladas

4 Sons 'R' Us: Breakfast Enchiladas

recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

  • 1 lb sausage, browned or 2 cups ham, diced
  • 6 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8-10 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half, or milk
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Directions

  1. In a large bowl stir together the meat, green onions, and 1 c. cheese.
  2. Place 1/3 cup of the mixture down the center of each tortilla.
  3. Roll up and place seam-side down into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  4. In another large bowl beat eggs, half and half, flour and salt. Pour over the tortillas in the dish. You can cover the dish and place it in the fridge or bake immediately.
  5. When ready to bake sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the tortillas, followed by the bacon.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted.

Pizza Pancakes

Do your kids love pancakes? Mine sure do. Coincidentally, pancakes were also one of the first things we taught them how to help us, and help themselves, make. When I heard ‘pizza pancakes’ I was intrigued. When I saw the recipe, I was inspired! All 4 Sons got in on the action. This delicious little hybrid was a fun new twist and a real treat for the kids. Pizza pancakes and it’s cast of characters are now set for a recurring role on our family’s dinnertime menu.

Pizza Pancakes

4 Sons 'R' Us: Pizza Pancakes

 

recipe adapted from Plain Chicken

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced
  • 1 cup sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • pizza sauce, warmed
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine the biscuit mix, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Combine eggs and milk. Stir the wet ingrediets into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in the cheese, pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms, if using.
  2. Pour batter by 1/4 cup-fuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top and continue cooking until the seconds side is golden brown.
  3. Serve with warmed pizza sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Wafeltjes: Belgian Waffle Cookies

Guten Morgen, everyone! Sons 1 & 2 are thoroughly enjoying their German classes this year. I’m glad they’re getting into it… finally. Better late than never though!

For a brief moment I thought there was going to be mutiny on the good ship Sons’ Education when my husband and I informed them that taking a foreign language (now that it’s an option in school) was mandatory. However, their German teacher is pretty awesome and has really managed to make the class fun and interesting, as well as educational. I’ve learned all about Munich & Hamburg and Mr. Heinz so far. Now, here’s where we come to the good stuff. Cookies.

I love these buttery little cookies. The sons’ love helping make them since they get an excuse to operate the waffle iron. On one of their various German projects my son discovered that these are also a popular treat in Germany. Who knew?! Son # 2 took it upon himself to make a batch and bring it to share with his class. The teacher was so impressed she even awarded him some extra credit points. I secretly think he just wanted to impress the pretty girl he’s seated beside with his ability to bake, and bake well. Either way he succeeded in thoroughly impressing both his teacher and classmates, including the previously mentioned crush whom he snuck an extra cookie too.

Whether you have an aspiring German student like us, or you just love a good buttery cookie these things are seriously delicious.

Wafeltjes: Belgian Waffle Cookies

4 Sons 'R' Us: Belgian Waffle Cookies

recipe adapted from Jillian In Italy

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Gently melt the butter (make sure it doesn’t brown).
  2. In the bowl of your mixer put in the flour and sugar.  Add the baking powder, salt  and the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix on medium low speed and slowly add the eggs one at a time.  Let mix for one minute then slowly pour in melted butter.
  4. Cover bowl and put in fridge for at least one hour.
  5. After letting the dough sit in fridge heat up waffle iron.
  6. Make small balls of dough and drop onto waffle iron (we did 4 at a time because we wanted them to be small but you could also do two bigger ones).
  7. Let bake until golden brown and remove from iron with wooden skewer onto a cooling rack.  Store in covered container.