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Megans Cookin

Friday, February 5, 2010

I’ve Moved!

Megan's Cookin' has moved!

Come visit me at
I still have some house keeping to do but the coffee is always on!
Please join me.
And please update your links and readers. I want you to still come visit me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recipes For Bacon Wrapped Appetizers!

You know I have a passion for bacon. I’ve shared one of my favorite appetizers before, the fantastic Bacon Wrapped Date. And  remember that deliciously evil  Bacon candy?

Oooh, that was sooo good!!!

Then it is probably no surprise to you,that I would love these Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos, and…

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these tasty Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites.

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Both of these appetizers would be perfect for Superbowl or, truth be told, any party! A perfect snack to munch down and chase with an ice cold beer, or in my case, a glass of Gewurztraminer. 

That’s party food to me! In fact I’m making both of these for a Valentine’s Party at work. And my co-worker is making them for a baby shower next month.

Yep, it’s finger lickin party food!

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Let’s start with the jalapenos. I use to make them with 3 easy ingredients until I saw how The Pioneer Woman did it. She added goodies to her cream cheese, and brushed a jelly or marmalade on the bacon wrapped jalapeno before baking. Fantastic! That’s my new way too!

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Want a tip for easy prep? Use a grapefruit spoon to help clean out the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno. The cutting edge of the spoon works wonders! If you don’t have one, pick one up at a thrift store, or kitchen shop, the next time you run across them. Trust me, you’ll thank me!

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Now on to the bacon wrapped Chicken Bites. I saw these over at Mags site, The Other Side of 50. I knew the minute I saw these I would be making them. In fact, I have made them twice, in about a months time. They are just bacon wrapped around a cube of chicken breast. Then you dredge it in spiced up brown sugar and bake. Adding the chili powder to the brown sugar so you get that sweet, spicy, salty thing going on.


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Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

  • 20 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 Inches
  • 2 cubes Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (or more) cheddar cheese (optional, but so worth it!)
  • Green Onions (optional, or chopped chives would be good here too!) 
  • 1 pound Thin(regular) Bacon, Sliced Into Thirds
  • 1/4 cup jelly or marmalade (Opional)
Preparation Instructions

Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane Mix softened cream cheese, Cheddar, and green onion together. Spread mixture into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure with toothpick through the middle. Brush with melted jelly.

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Stir together brown sugar, chili powder and cayenne pepper,  Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture.  Place chicken bites on a  rack in a broiler pan.

Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate and Rose: A Valentine Nanaimo Bar Recipe

First, let’s get the required verbiage out of the way, shall we? Here it goes!

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

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I’m a naughty girl.

I didn’t follow the rules.

I didn't make my own Gluten Free Graham crackers.

But, in my defense,

I didn't want to miss out on all the fun. I have wanted to make these bars since I first saw them on our trip to Victoria Canada. It’s been 2 years! So I couldn’t let life, time and a batch of Celtic free cracker stand in my way.

Could I?

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I used store bought graham crackers that were sitting in the cupboard!. It made it easy to whip up this batch!

And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, how could I resist trying a rose and chocolate combo?  I couldn’t!

So I made a batch trying to incorporate Rose Water into the middle cream layer. I never seem to use enough of this flavoring. I’m always afraid I’ll use too much, and it will taste perfumed. So again, my flavoring went undetected. I used 2 capfuls which was about 1/2 a teaspoon. O-well, it was a nice try, don't you think?

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I also had difficulty with the top layer. As you can see, it wasn’t the prettiest. I really think if I had used the right pan, an 8x8 inch pan, it would have worked out better for me.

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The pan I used was a little bit bigger resulting in not enough topping to spread evenly and my layer's were a little thin. But I wanted to use this flower shaped pan so I could it into hearts and give them away. Sweet deal!

I told Barbara they looked better upside down. She told me to be daring and present them that way.

So I did!

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 These are a delicious, no-bake bar that is fast and simple.

In my so humble opinion, one of life’s “Must Try”!

Nanaimo Bars

(Printable Recipe)

 Bottom Layer

1/2 cup (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups Graham Wafer Crumbs
1/2 cup) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

Middle Layer
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons  Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups  Icing Sugar                                                                1 teaspoon Rose Water (Optional)

Top Layer
4 ounces Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Martha’s Maple Granola Recipe

It’s time for Martha Monday!

Maple Granola

This weeks recipe was chosen by MaryAnn of Stirring It Up With Meg and she choose Martha’s Maple Granola. What a great choice!

This stuff is delicious.

I’m mean serious delicious.

Maple Granola

I wasn’t big on granola, except for maybe a little on my breakfast yogurt, but this is a real treat. An addiction if you must know. It makes me excited for breakfast.

It’s a good thing!


Maple Granola

Martha’s Maple Granola

(printable Recipe)

  • 3 Cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon course sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients except raisins. Spread granola in an even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes for 40 minutes.Add raisins and bake till toasted, about 10 minutes more. Let cool completely.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lemon and Basil Eggs Over Foccacia Bread


 Did you know Valentines Day falls on the weekend this year?

Ahh, but don’t you fret, I have a sexy little recipe that’s perfect for a Valentine’s Weekend, orany weekend!

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

It’s eggs, basil, cheese and milk, mixed with bread cubes and baked in a hollowed out loaf of bread! Brushed with a little lemon and oil, it’s


I’ve made this many times, for many people, and it’s always been a winner. The family gets pretty excited when I pull this recipe out.

I like the smiles!


Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

Fresh from the oven!

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

Ok, So I have quite a few pictures to share. I've been playing with my camera, trying to learn to take decent pictures.

I’m also trying to convince myself that I don’t need a new camera, while convincing The Hubby that I do! ;-)

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

Would you like a slice?

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

Lemon and Basil Eggs over Foccacia Bread

  Recipe by Giada de-laurentiis


  • 1 large loaf foccacia bread (I used 2  small Pugula loafs)
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon olive oil, or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil combined with 1 teaspoon lemon juice (I used 3 TBSP oil and 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice)
  • 3 eggs (I used 4)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (Sometimes I use Italian Seasoning, if I don't have fresh basil)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top off the foccacia and hollow out the bread inside. Tear the top of the foccacia and the inside bread into 1-inch pieces and save for the egg mixture. Brush the inside of the foccacia with the Meyer lemon olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the basil, cheese, salt, pepper, and milk. Whisk lightly. Stir in up to 4 cups of the bread pieces.

Carefully pour the egg mixture into the toasted foccacia bottom. Return to the oven and bake until the eggs have cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Cut the baked foccacia into 6 to 8 pieces and serve immediately


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Recipe for Mandarin Orange Chicken with Garlic and Thyme

Trying to keep it healthy when one has a huge sweet tooth is not an easy task. I keep dreaming of that Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and all those Christmas cookies. Liqueur Soaked Pound Cakes and Macarons keep clouding my head.

Manderan Chicken w/Garlic and Thyme

But with the new decade upon us, along with those unwanted extra holiday pounds, I have been gathering delicious healthy dinner recipes instead of bookmarking all the fabulous goodies that I’ve seen floating around.    It’s a tough job…

but one I’ll gladly do for you.

BTW, you look like you lost weight! Yes?

Your looking good!

Manderan Chicken w/Garlic and Thyme

Today’s healthy choice is a delicious Mandarin Orange Chicken that I made in the Crockpot.  It was so tender that it just fell a part. (As seen in photo) I had a few extra cans of oranges and a lot of garlic hanging around so I just dumped and cook. It was a winner with my family, which to tell you the truth, surprised me. My kind of weekday meal!

Manderan Chicken w/Garlic and Thyme

I served it with the Lemon Green Beans and Shallots that I found at Maria’s site, Two Peas and Their Pod. Thank you Maria for rounding out my dinner perfectly. It made for a snappy dinner that tantalized my taste buds!

Mandarin Orange Chicken

(Printable Recipe)


  • 1 lb - chicken breast, skinless & boneless (Thighs would be good here too!)
  • 1 - 8oz can - mandarin oranges,
  • 1 tbsp - Ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp – Salt
  • 5 cloves - garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup - orange juice
  • 1 tsp fresh Thyme
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


Place chicken in Crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cornstarch, to the Crockpot.

Cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for about 8 hours. Note: Times and temps will vary. I think I might have even started with frozen chicken.

Remove chicken and put orange sauce in a small sauce pan. Stir a little water into the cornstarch to make a this paste. Add to orange sauce and cook on medium heat till thickened. Spoon over chicken and enjoy!

Find the Green bean recipe on Maria’s site by clicking here!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

HBin5: A Whole Grain Artesian Free Form Loaf

 Today's post is the official start to the new bread baking club that is baking their way through the new cookbook Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. You may remember that back in November and December, we were given the bonus recipes of Pumpkin Pie Brioche and Cranberry Orange Challah breads to wet our whistle. Except remember, my challah was made with chocolate chips. Ooh, the warm memories!

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Anyway, were starting off the year with the Whole Grain Master Recipe. With this basic dough, we were to make a regular free form loaf of bread, an Epi, (a shaped loaf to resemble a wheat stalk), and Spicy Whole Grain Crackers.

Whole Grain Bread

 Can I first tell you how easy this is? It literally took me 5 minutes to mix some flour, yeast, salt, vital wheat gluten, and water in my dough bucket, Then you leave it for a couple of hours to grow.

Whole Grain Bread

 At this point you can use it right away or refrigerate it for up to 14 days. I choose to refrigerate it because it makes the dough easier to handle. Then you just form your loaf and bake. Bread baking does not have to be intimidating anymore!

Whole Grain Bread

 This was my first loaf. Basic but beautiful!

Whole Grain Bread

My next loaf I topped with a mixture of poppy, sesame, flax, and sunflower seeds. I really like the way this one looked and tasted with the seeds on top.

Whole Grain Bread

My third loaf was made for a friend as part of her Christmas present. Since she cant have seeds and nuts due to dietary restrictions, I sprinkled her favorite Italian seasoning on top. This is her first loaf in the bread of the month club that she will be receiving. I gotta share that bread baking love!


I didn’t make the epi, but I did manage to get the crackers baked. These were habit forming. Impressive yet easy, if I may say so myself!


I topped my crackers with an assortment of toppings.

I used;

  • Chili powder and kosher salt
  • Johnny’s Garlic Spread Seasoning
  • Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Black Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • Salish Alder Smoked Sea Salt

A great big thank you to Michelle from Big Black Dogs for hosting our bread baking adventure. You can check out her blog for all the information and for a list of participants.

You can also check out the Artesian Bread in 5 Minutes A Day blog where you can find step by step instructions and the Whole Grain Master Recipe. They also have a lot of good recipes and ideas so take a look around. I want to make the Pizza Lollipops!


To order your own HBin5 Cookbook, Click on the above cookbook!

To win a free copy of this book,

go to Simply Daily Recipes! Jill has 4 more copies to giveaway. Winner of the second book will be announced January 22. Good Luck!

I hope you enjoyed my adventure in bread. Wait till you see what we have cookin’ for the end or the month. Something tells me your gonna like it. Just a little tease!

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