Homemade Kit Kat Bars

If you are on a diet then don’t read this. Two words to describe this recipe and you will understand – Paula Deen. I’m not actually 100% positive this is a Paula Deen recipe, but @seriouseats on my Twitter feed is definitely blaming the excessively unhealthy ingredients on her. BUT, it is sooo good. So who cares who’s recipe it is. I’m actually going to call them Kick Kack bars because up until the age of 16, my son actually thought that was the name of a Kit Kat candy bar. So here’s what you will need for the KICK KACK bar:

  • Club Crackers
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (not margarine)
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Start with a 9X13 rectangular baking pan. Line the bottom with a single layer of club crackers. Make sure you buy the original flavor club crackers and don’t accidentally grab the garlic flavored. I sprayed the bottom of my baking pan with Pam. I wasn’t sure if it would stick or not, and my baking dish was not a non-stick pan. It worked out well for me, but the orignal recipe didn’t call for it.

Get a large saucepan and melt both sticks of butter over medium heat. Once they are melted, add the graham crackers, brown sugar, white sugar, and milk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil and stir for five minutes and then take it off the heat. Pour half of this mixture over the first layer of crackers. Smooth out with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Arrange a second layer of crackers on top of the butter mixture. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the second layer of crackers, smooth out, and then arrange a third and final layer of crackers on top.

In a small or medium size saucepan, add the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips and melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Heat these ingredients until they get to a consistency where you feel you can spread it over the 3rd layer of crackers.

Spread the topping evenly over the top with a spatula or back of a spoon. Make sure the crackers all stay in place. Let it cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. When you are ready to try your homemade Kick Kack bars, take them out and slice them into 2-inch bars. You should get about 30 bars. Enjoy – @ChefMikeW


I like big skillets full of food!! They’re like pots of chili during football games. So when I read a recipe that says “use a large saucepan”, I know that’s what I’m gonna get. I found this one on my Twitter account. It was tweeted by @Real_Simple. I like to follow them because they always post quick easy recipes and if your busy like me, it’s nice to find a really good hearty recipe that you can make quickly, and have leftovers. This only took me about 30 minutes to make.

Here’s what you’re gonna need:

  • 1 cup long-grained white rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound italian sausage links (casings removed)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 20 peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup frozen peas

There are a couple of decisions you will have to make with your ingredients. The main one being if you want to use sweet or hot italian sausage. This is totally up to you. If you don’t like spicy food, definitely go with the sweet sausage. If you want to add a little heat, then get the mild or hot italian sausage. If you like spicy food, but nobody else does – then use the sweet, and add red pepper flakes to your plate. On with the recipe…..

Make the rice according to the package. You could probably even use minute rice here. Just don’t use a flavored rice.

While your rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in “A Large Saucepan” over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add your onions and sausage. As they cook, break up the sausage with a spoon and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.





Once your sausage is browned and your onions have softened, then you add the rest of your ingredients. Start with the shrimp, then add the tomatoes (with the juice), then top with peas. Season all this with S&P and then stir together.

Simmer and stir occasionally until your shrimp are cooked through. Your sauce should thicken up during this time. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over your rice – Enjoy! @ChefMikeW



Chewy Molasses Squares

Sometimes I like to make a sweet even though I’m not much of a baker or dessert guy. In the back of the March 2011 issue of Everyday Food Magazine (@everydayfood) I found a recipe for Chewy Molasses Squares. So, since I’m not much of a baker, a dessert guy or not even a real fan of molasses, I decide I need to make this dessert. Maybe I’m just trying to get rid of some pantry items, but the picture in the magazine looked pretty good so I said what the heck.

Once they were made, I couldn’t help but notice how sweet they were. Especially since they are coated with powdered sugar. It’s a unique taste and I think they would taste different depending on the molasses you use. The recipe says to use “unsulfured molasses” because it has more of a pure sugar-cane taste. If you happen to be a fan of molasses, I would suggest using your favorite brand. Here’s what else you will need:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup molasses – unsulfured
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly spray a 8-inch square baking dish with the cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a larger bowl use an electric mixer on medium-high to beat the butter and the sugar for 4 minutes until it is pale and fluffy. Switch the mixer to medium speed and add the molasses and egg whites and continue to beat until combined. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the flour mixture and mix this until it is combined as well.

Transfer your batter to the 8-inch dish and smooth out the top. Bake 40-45 minutes until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely in the dish on top of a wire rack. Once cooled, you should be able to place a cutting board on top of it and flip it over leaving the cake on the cutting board. Cut the cake into 1 1/2 inch squares.

Store these squares in an airtight container until ready to serve. When ready to serve, use a small ziplock back with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar inside of it to toss 4-5 squares at a time until they are coated. These are awesome with a good cup of coffee.  @ChefMikeW

I chose this recipe tonight solely on the 4 words that the recipe ended with. The recipe was in the March issue of the Rachael Ray magazine. I had some other recipes picked out in the same magazine, but when I saw the four mesmerizing words – I knew this was the one. What were those four words you ask? “Top with the bacon!” YES, that is how the recipe ended. Obviously this was the only choice for me to make tonight.

This is a super easy recipe. It says it serves 4, but after our family of 3 eating we had more than half of it left. Here are the ingredients that you will use. It’s really important that you always prep your ingredients before you start to cook. It makes the recipe easier to follow and your meal more enjoyable to cook.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 pound ground beef

4 slices of bacon (or more)

1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes – quartered

2 bell peppers (any color) – cut into thin strips

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

One 12-ounce bag dried egg noodles

Get a large deep skillet and heat the olive oil on medium high. Cook the onion about 3 minutes until it becomes soft and then add your ground beef. For a lower fat meal, you could substitute ground turkey here. Season with S&P and cook 5-7 minutes. Once your meat is browned, transfer it to a bowl.  

Using the same skillet,  cook your bacon the way you like your bacon. If you like it kind of soft, cook it 3-4 minutes. If you like it crispy, cook it 5-7 minutes. It’s your call. When it’s to your liking, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate. Leave the grease in the pan.

 Add your potatoes to the bacon grease and stir to make sure they are completely coated. Cover your skillet and cook until the potatoes are tender. This should take about 8 minutes. You will have to keep a close eye and stir often so that your potatoes don’t burn in the bacon grease. After the 8 minutes, uncover and stir in your bell peppers. Cook an additional 8 minutes uncovered.


Once your bell peppers have softened up, add the ground beef mixture back to the skillet as well as the peas, tomato sauce, and 1 cup of water. Season with S&P andcook until the potatoes are tender – about 8-10 minutes.

During this time, make your egg noodles according to the package. Drain and then mix with your beef mixture. You could do this in your skillet if it is big enough or a big bowl. Spoon it onto some plates and dinner is ready!! Oh, and “Top with the bacon!”


Chicken-Fajita Tostadas

My new years resolution is to make 100 post to my Sibling Dish food blog. I am already behind since it is January 17th and this is my first post! So I’m going to start 2011 out with a low cal Tex-Mex dinner I found in the April 2008 Everyday Food magazine. I said low cal, but it’s definitely not low flavor. If you’re not a huge fan of tostadas, you could always use the filling for tacos or even make a rice bowl out of it. You pile the ingredients up pretty high, so it makes it a little awkward to eat.

You will need:

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I used white)
  • 2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced (I used 1 red & 1 green)
  • 1 package of frozen corn (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup prepared fresh salsa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 4 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh Cilantro

A little bit about the ingrediants….I used white onions because that is the onion traditionally used in Mexican food, but you could use yellow. I tried to mix up the bell peppers, but only for color. It wont hurt if you want to use 2 green, or 2 red, or even if you want to try an orange one. The fresh salsa is really important. Don’t go buy Pace or some other jar of salsa. You can almost always find fresh made salsa in the produce section by the salad bags. OR better yet, if you have a great salsa recipe, make your own. The easiest way to prepare the chicken is to boil it until cooked through and then use 2 forks to shred it. The recipe calls for sharp cheddar, but you can use whatever cheese you like.


First thing you need to do is preheat the oven to 450 and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil . In a large bowl, combine your onions, bell peppers, frozen corn, 1/4 cup fresh salsa, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and some S&P. Mix well and then spread this mixture out on your baking sheet.

Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. When they are tender and lightly brown, you are going to stir in your chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes. Once this is done, you transfer the mixture to a large bowl and discard your aluminum foil.

On the same baking sheet, spread out 4-6 corn tortillas and brush them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top them with cheese leaving the edges exposed. Return your baking sheet to oven and bake until the edges are golden and cheese is melted, 5-8 minutes.

When your tortillas are done, top each one with an even amount of your chicken, vegetable mixture. Then top that with the remaining fresh salsa. Sprinkle with some fresh Cilantro and ring the dinner bell. Each serving is 472 calories. @topchefmike

Shrimp-and-Rice Bake

     Every now and then I make a dish that I just can’t stop eating no matter how full I get. That’s how I felt about this Shrimp and Rice dish I got out of the November Rachel Ray Magazine. I think I probably devoured 5 bowls of it’s tastiness over a 3 hour period. So naturally I laid around and belly ached and complained about how full I was while at the same time wanting (needing) to eat more. The good news is that I found out that it is also a great leftover-next-day dish as well. So if you decide to make this, don’t worry if it looks like to much because you can always take it to lunch with you the next day.

The main thing you need to make this dish is an ovenproof skillet with a lid. Make sure it is big skillet, but not to big to fit in your oven. If you don’t have a lid, you can always use tin foil. I actually used a Pizza pan for my lid. Crank your oven on and let it preheat at 375 while you prepare your ingredients. For the shrimp, you will need to buy a 1 pound bag of frozen shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. The shrimp will need to be thawed out, which you can do by submerging the bag in water. Don’t put it in hot water, that will just cook the shrimp more and make them chewy.

Chop 4 Slices of Bacon (or more) and start cooking it in your skillet over medium-high heat until it is crisp. Stir in 1/2 a chopped Onion and cook about 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. As an alternative to the bacon, you could also use finely chopped Chorizo instead. (YUM) 

 Stir in 1 1/4 cups of white rice and season with 2 teaspoons salt,  3/4 teaspoons of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika. Stir the rice and seasonings until mixed well and then add a 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes with italian herbs and 1 cup of water. Bring this to a simmer while stirring occasionally. To bring something to a simmer basically means to raise the heat on it just until it is about to boil, but doesn’t. Then cover your skillet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

While it is in the oven, you will need to cut 2 zucchini’s into 1/2 inch cubes. Also chop some flat-leaf parsley until you get 1/3 cup. When the 20 minute timer goes off, test your rice to make sure it is tender. Crunchy rice will ruin this dish. If you like the rice the way it is, stir the shrimp and the zucchini into the skillet. Recover and cook an additional 5 minutes. After you take it out of the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes then add your parsely and serve. Just one more tip – sprinkle leftovers with water before reheating it in the microwave and it will come out awesome. Enjoy – May the Fork be With You! 







Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

     I love to make breakfast on Saturday mornings. I especially like to make breakfast when there is football on like there was this morning. So as I watched Missouri stomp Texas A&M, I remembered a pancake recipe I saw on twitter that @babblefood posted a few weeks ago. It was a pancake that look and tasted like a cinnamon roll. Wow – two great breakfast items combined into one. It is covered in a buttermilk syrup that I made, but I also tried it with regular syrup and that was just as good. (maybe better)

For the pancakes you will need to mix the following:

Combine 1 cup AP flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium size bowl.

Then in a small bowl, combine 1-1/2  cups buttermilk, 2 tablespoon melted butter, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 1 tablespoon honey.  Whisk this mixture into the dry ingredients. Batter should be a little lumpy and not to thin.

Once you have that done, you will need to make the mixture for the cinnamon swirl. In a measuring cup mix 1/4 cup brown sugar (no lumps), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon AP flour, and 2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Make sure this mixture is smooth and put it in a plastic Ziploc bag and cut a small triangle off the corner so you can pipe it onto the pancake.

Here’s where you have to make a decision. Do you want the Buttermilk syrup or regular syrup. If you want the buttermilk syrup, you have to get that started. In a medium saucepan, add 4 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup buttermilk. Bring this to a boil over medium heat then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take it off the heat and add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. At this point it will foam up like a volcano science project you did in school, so make sure your sauce pan is big enough to stop any spillover.

While your syrup is simmering. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and put a tablespoon of butter in it. Once the butter is melted, pour 1/2 cup of pancake batter into the pan. Don’t use more than 1/2 cup because there will be to much batter on the top when you flip it and it will cover your cinnamon swirl (I only know because I did this when I tried to make a bigger one). Now use your Ziploc bag to pipe on your swirl on top of the batter in the pan.

When the bubbles on the surface of the pancake begin to pop and then not refill with more batter, flip your pancake carefully and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter and swirl mixture.

Top your Cinnamon Pancakes with the Buttermilk Syrup and enjoy! May the Fork Be With You!