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Tag Archives: Copy cat

Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe

Well, Isaac has officially canceled school tomorrow…must be time to utilize the kitchen!  Today, I’m working on two recipes at once: coffee and chicken.  The last coffee drink from Pinterest was a disaster; we’re due for another attempt.  This recipe was originally pinned by Jennifer Drummond, which she found on a healthy food blog named Peanut Butter and Peppers.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

1 heaping teaspoon instant coffee
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet stevia or 1 tbsp. sugar (to taste)

There’s a note on the recipe that you can use brewed coffee instead, which is exactly what I did after our last little mishap with instant coffee.  I left it in the freezer to chill by the ice cream for about 6 hours (we had errands to run during our “tropical storm”)

I was a little surprised to find a solid block of coffee ice when I pulled it out around 3:30pm.  Mike had to slice it with his “man knife” before I could even get it into the blender.  After the display of man-defeats-food, we were able to get the ingredients put together and blend.  (seriously, blend, blend, blend.  Took about 5 minutes to get all the chunks out so it was able to be pulled through a straw).

    

Verdict:
Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 3.5/5 (not sweet enough)
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5 (not quite sweet enough)
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5

While it’s definitely not Starbucks (or Black and Brew…), it’s not awful.  In a pinch when I’m desperate for a frappe, I might make this again.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Coffee

 

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Chicken and Dumplings in Crock Pot

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings are an all-time favorite in this house, so when I found a copy-cat recipe on Tiffany Butterworth’s page from Tasty Kitchen, I just had to give it a go.

Recipe:

2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Milk, A Bit Less Than A Full Cup
2 quarts Chicken Broth
3 cups Cooked Chicken

Unfortunately, (thankfully), no photographs were taken of the process, but I can promise you the kitchen had a dose of white from all the flour.  I’ve never been very good at using a rolling pin, and this recipe reminded me of why I keep it hidden in the bottom drawer.  Overall though, it wasn’t as difficult as I originally thought it would be.  I think I would add some poultry seasoning or some Adobo to the dumplings next time, as they tasted a little too bland for my liking.

Verdict:

Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Notes: The gravy was delicious, but the dumplings needed a little more flavor.

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5
Ease of cleanup: 3.5/5
Availability of ingredients: 4.5/5

This one is a keeper!

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Lighter General Tso’s Chicken

One of Mike’s favorite dishes is General Tso’s Chicken.  I found a recipe for “lighter” General Tso’s, though honestly, I’m not sure what it’s lighter than… I found it on Martha Stewart’s website, and I am the original pinner.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 large egg whites
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
I cut and slashed this recipe, mainly because some of the ingredients were not available to me, and because other ingredients didn’t seem too…appetizing.  I used loose peas instead of snow peas because I couldn’t find snow peas in WinnDixie, Wal-Mart, or Publix.  We don’t eat much brown rice, and I didn’t want to buy it just for one recipe, so I used Uncle Ben’s instant white rice. I replaced the red pepper flakes with McCormick’s Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning.  I used regular salt and pepper, as well as canola oil.
The recipe itself is easy enough to follow, didn’t take too long, and didn’t make too much of a mess.  I posted the only picture straight to Facebook and didn’t keep a copy (whoops), but it pretty much looks like the picture on the website, with loose peas instead of snow peas 🙂
Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 4/5
Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 4.5/5
Presentation: 4/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5
Ease of cleanup: 4/5
Availability of ingredients: 3.5/5
This is a pretty decent recipe.  It’s a little sweet for my taste, but we both had clean bowls.  It’s a keeper.
 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate

Serendipity is one of my favorite movies, and every time I watch it all I can think about afterwards is those humongous chocolate drinks Sara and Eve indulge themselves with in the Serendipity Coffee Shop.  Then, behold!  I found the recipe on Caitlyn Ryan’s board, pinned from a blog called Picky Palate.  Thank you, ladies!  I may have just died and gone to chocolate Heaven!

Recipe:

2 cups whole milk
Five 1.25 ounce packets of Hot Chocolate mix
4 cups ice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or grated chocolate

Unfortunately I didn’t have heavy whipping cream, and at 11:00pm I didn’t want to run to Wal-Mart.  My impatience kicked in and I figured I’d give it a go without the whipped topping.  (Someday…whipped topping.  Someday).  I followed the recipe exactly as stated (aside from the topping), dumped it into frozen mugs that my husband conveniently keeps in the freezer, dropped in a straw, and drank deeply.
**Sigh**

Seriously, to me, it is that amazing.  I’m not sure I can survive the whipped topping.

Verdict:

Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 3/5
Presentation: 5/5
Notes: The chocolate wasn’t all the strong tasting.

Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 4.5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 3/5 (seriously, who keeps heavy whipping cream lying around?  That stuff is dynamite.)

Overall, delicious, but I  may try actually using real cocoa next time?

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Drinks

 

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