The summer has always been a favorite of mine. Mainly because that’s when school was out, which meant no homework and a lot of free time to play with friends. Some of my very favorite memories from childhood are my family and I playing in the pool all day while anxiously waiting for dinner because my dad was cooking it on the grill. My grandpa use to call my brothers, sister and I, fish, because we never seemed to get out of the pool. I was always very tan as a child ha! I even use to swim on a swim team for my childhood and most of my teenage years too. But really, what kind of kid doesn’t spend their whole day in the pool during an Arizona summer?!
Summer BBQ’s were always a blast! I love meals that are cooked on the grill! Hamburgers are my favorite food, and a hamburger never taste better then right after it comes off the grill. I also love BBQ food cooked on the grill. BBQ always reminds me of summer, maybe because we had BBQ chicken on the grill a lot when I was young. Jesse and I unfortunately don’t own a grill just yet….. We hope someday soon we will get one! But since we don’t have a grill, I still try to cook up meals in the summer that I enjoyed on the grill, but with a little twist. This meal is called BBQ Chip Chicken. If you like BBQ chicken, then this meal is great for you. It’s just BBQ chicken with an added crunch too it. It goes perfect with a side of corn on the cob and mashed potatoes!
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 2 C. Crushed BBQ chips
- ¼ C. BBQ sauce
- ¼ C. Melted butter
- Dash of Salt and pepper
- Dash of chili powder
- Sprinkle of cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking dish with tin foil. (it is not necessary to line a baking dish with tin foil, I just like to because it’s less mess to clean up after.)
- Crush up your BBQ chips. I like to put mine in a baggie and hit them with a rolling pin. You don’t need to over crush the chips, just until they are small pieces. Spread the crushed chips onto a plate and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
- Put your BBQ and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
- Place once chicken breast at a time in the BBQ/butter mixture, coating it really well. Then put it on the BBQ chips and cover both sides of the chicken really well with chips. Press the chips into the chicken.
- Then pop the chicken in the oven for about 40-50mins (until there is no pink).
- I sprinkle a little cheese on the top of the chickens and serve!
Well this month has been so crazy I can’t even remember why it was so crazy! (Does that sentence even make sense?! You can tell I’m losing it….ha!) July was moving month and vacation month, hence the craziness. Jesse and I packed up everything from our old house and unpacked everything into our new house all in ONE DAY, BY OURSELVES! Ugh, if you ever move, I would not suggest that method. We were just so excited to get things done, that we tried to hurry and be over with it. Turns out it worked pretty well (expect for the mega tiredness.) We were out of our old place and living in our new place in the same day, and we love our new place, so we were excited to get in there as soon as possible. It took us the whole month of July to finally get our furniture set up, decorations up, and everything settled. But now, it’s a wonderful place we get to call home! And things can start to finally get back into a normal routine.
Jesse and I also were fortunate and blessed to be able to attend the Paul McCartney concert this month. I have never known a bigger Beatles fan then my hubby (and his favorite Beatle is Sir Paul) so it was absolutly amazing to be there with him. We were singing along to every song and had such a blast!! Paul McCartney may be in his 70’s but he sure knows how to put on a great show still!! It is a memory that I will never forget! 🙂 We also headed to the Oregon Coast and enjoyed a family vacation with some of Jesse’s family. Oregon is gorgeous! We travelled to Tillamook and enjoyed some tasty cheese and ice cream; we drove the Cape Meres scenic route where we saw a waterfall, a light house, and an octopus tree, we played on many beaches and ate at many restaurants, but overall it was great to spend so much time with family!!
I didn’t cook very many meals worth putting up on the blog this month due to the craziness, but I did make some yummy Banana Bread with Cinnamon Streusel. I really love buying banana’s (at Costco) and when they start going bad, I pop them in the freezer. After a while it’s great to open up the freezer and see all the banana’s piling up, because that means I get to bake Banana Bread!! What is a better, easier, tastier breakfast? NOTHING!! 😉 I enjoy just regular banana bread, but I also enjoy adding different ingredients to it. This time I made a cinnamon streusel. It was delightful!!
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.
- Prepare the streusel: In small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add in your butter until it is nice and crumbly, struesely looking.
- In large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg, and vanilla.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into banana mixture.
- Spoon HALF the batter into greased-and-floured loaf pan. Sprinkle batter with HALF of the streusel mixture. Add the rest of the batter over the streusel mixture in the pan. Then top with the remaining streusel, I like to put the remaining streusel on top of the banana bread after about 30-40mins of cooking. The top is still a little gooey, but it won’t burn. (If it does start to burn, just place tinfoil on top of it)
(This is a picture of half of the banana mixture and half of the streusel, add the rest of the banana mixture on top of this.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (and enjoy the delicious smell) Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
(The dogs ate some banana leftovers as a treat!)
This weekend we had a garage sale to get rid of some big things, like our washer and dryer, so we don’t have to take them to our new place. Luckily the weather was great, NO rain, only sunshine all day!! It was beautiful!! Our dogs, loved lying in the sun, it did get a bit overwhelming to them, and after they had been lying in the sun for a while, they would come inside to try to cool off by lying on the hard wood floor. They are too cute!! I think the dogs are getting anxious because they are seeing everything be packed up in boxes. Instead of their favorite blankets or pillows out for them to use, they are packed away in a box. Billie Jean has been through two moves already, and she really is bad at moving! She is a very anxious dog, and hates change SO much!! I’m hoping Prudy is not like that. She is a very easy going dog so I think she will embrace new scenery and new scents.
It has been pretty bad using the oven the last few nights; it makes our house even warmer than it already is. I need to come up with some crockpot meals so that not only will our house stay cool, but I won’t get so hot while making dinner either! This meal is called Creamy Crouton Chicken. It’s fairly simple; it really does not take very much effort to make. It’s a great meal when you are busy and want to just throw something in the oven real quick. My dad the other day asked me why I don’t just go to Burger King or McDonalds every once in a while to take a break from cooking dinner every night. I couldn’t help but laugh when he asked me this; he is such a silly goofball sometimes! I replied by saying that I enjoy cooking! Every once in a while (but especially during this move) Jesse and I will have something easy for dinner, something that we can just whip up in a matter of minutes, like rice and chicken, or noodles and chicken, (sometimes we get the ever so tasty and very cheap, Subway!! We LOVE Subway too much haha!) but I really try hard to make sure that most of our meals are home cooked! I loved having home cooked meals while I was growing up, and I missed them terribly while I was in college, so I want to do that for my family, it means a lot to me!! 🙂
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1 Can of Condensed cream of chicken
- ½ C Croutons, any flavor you would like
- Shredded Cheese, we used fiesta blend, but any would be good
- Salt and Pepper
- Place your two chicken breasts into a shallow baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
- Place about ½ C croutons in a baggy and smash them up into little pieces.
- Mix your cream of chicken with just a little bit of water (a little less than ¼ C) to dilute it so that it is a little thinner and easier to pour.
- Sprinkle your cheese on top of your chicken breasts, then pour your cream of chicken on top of that, and then sprinkle your croutons on top of that.
- Place in the 350 degree oven for about an hour, until it is completely cooked through.