Thursday, April 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Well that is a mouthful in itself, whew! But I promise you it is worth it! I fell upon this recipe and have been waiting to make it...again the bananas in our house are gone before they are super ripe. I finally got some so I made the bread!

PB Banana Chocolate Chip Bread-adapted from Meal Planning with Connie
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup oats(quick cook or old fashion)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk(may need a little extra, I did not)
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 bread pans or a bundt pan. Set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients including chocolate chips. Combine wet ingredients and slowly incorporate into dry mixture. Pour into pan(s) and cook for 40 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

**This is a delicious bread! I really enjoyed it, the peanut butter was not overwhelming nor was the banana.

This has been linked to Eat At Home

Pepperoni Roll Ups

I had these on the menu this week and never got to them. I was working on several other recipes today during nap time and one of them was a brunch lasagna(which will be posted soon) so I figured I mind as well get this one working too. They are all nestled together in the freezer awaiting to be eaten! This was pretty simple recipe too!

Pepperoni Roll Ups-Taste of Home 2009..or 2010
10 lasagna noodles, cooked according to the pkg
16 oz container ricotta or cottage cheese
2 tbsp Italian seasoning(approx)
2 tbsp dried chives(approx)
1 pkg pepperoni
shredded mozzarella cheese
26 oz can/jar of spaghetti sauce

Mix together ricotta/cottage cheese and spices. Place cooked noodle on plate/cutting board. I was able to lay 3 down at a time. Place approximately 3 tbsp of cottage cheese (or ricotta) on noodle and smooth out, stopping a half an inch from the end of the noodle. Sprinkle cheese on top, followed by pepperoni.(I used 5 slices per noodle.) Carefully roll noodle up. In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, spread some sauce on the bottom. Lay roll up seem side down in pan. Continue until all of the cheese is used up.*I was able to get 9 noodles down, you may get more or less. The last roll up only had pepperoni and cheese in it. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 mins until hot and bubbly at 350 degrees.

**Ours was previously frozen, so it took an hour to cook. These were just ok in our book...we decided we like my regular lasagna better. When it was taken out of the oven it had a LOT of liquid in it so I drained it out. I'm not sure if it was water, but I know some of it was fat from the pepperoni. There wasn't much flavor left to the pepperoni, but please don't let our review deter you from enjoying it!

Sesame Ginger Pork Chops

This is from my Aunt Gina's quilt guild. It was quite tasty! K really wanted more of it, but I only had 3 chops. This would work well with chicken, as the original recipe was actually for chicken. It was also quick and easy.

Sesame Ginger Pork Chops-Thimble Pleasures
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted*
1 lb pork chops

*You can buy sesame seeds already toasted, but it much cheaper to do it yourself and quite easy. I buy the jars of seeds for 88 cents to $1 and seen as you only need a few they last a long time. I've seen toasted sesame seeds go for over $2 for a tiny jar. To toast them all you need to do is place them in a dry skillet and turn the heat on low. Occassionally give them a stir until they are a nice golden color.

Mix together all the ingredients and set aside. Place chops on hot grill(or skillet) and let brown, flip, and let the other side brown. Spread browned side with sauce, flip, spread other side with sauce. I did this a couple of times and let the sauce carmelize, it added lots of flavor. I had some pretty thin chops, so this did not take long.

Barley Risotto

I came across this recipe on another blog I frequent quite a bit. She calls it Barley Pilaf, but the process is more like a risotto so I renamed it. I was also looking for something to do with the barley I had in the cabinet, it was for soup, but it never got made. I had the Goya barley and had no idea what kind it was after a little research I think I came to the conclusion that it is the pearl barley, this may have been a quicker process if you use quick cook barley(as the original states) You have to have a little patience with this recipe and perhaps maybe not a crying 1 year old at your feet, but it got done!

Barley Risotto-shared from Finding Joy In My Kitchen
4 cups broth(I used veggie)
1 pkg frozen peas
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups barley(quick cook or pearl)*
2 tbsp oil
1/4-1/2 cup cream
1/4-1/2 cup parm or asiago cheese, shredded(I did use grated)

Place oil in pan(I have a deep sided skillet so I used that). Saute onions and garlic for about 5 mins. Add in barley and let brown for a few minutes. Slowly add in broth, stir until the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding the liquid until it is all gone(I did about a cup at a time). Stir in peas, cream, and cheese. Stir and let cheese melt.

*Because I used pearl barley and not quick cook, I found I needed more liquid. So that is why the cream is up to a 1/2 a cup. I also added extra water as the barley still was not fully cooked and it had no more liquid. I let it simmer and cook longer than if using quick cook. I am still not sure that it is fully cooked as I've never cooked barley this way. It had a bite to it, but it worked for me and after 45 mins and a baby who wasn't having it, I served it up!

**I LOVED this. I loved the texture, the taste, and just everything about it! K wasn't as sold as I was. He said it was good and I could make it again, but I gave it high honors! Next time I'll try it with quick cook so maybe it won't take quite as long. The original recipe uses asparagus, we are not fans of it or had it in the house so we went with the peas.

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

I've had this recipe for at least 2-3 has been sitting in my recipe "notebook" waiting for it to be made. I finally had all the stuff so I decided to make some. I'm not sure where exactly the recipe came from...I know it was some magazine, but it does have Skippy in the bottom corner so perhaps its a Skippy recipe.

Peanut Butter Energy Bites
3 cups cheerios
3 cups granola
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together cheerios, granola, and cranberries/raisins. In a separate bowl combine honey, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Place in microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time until peanut butter is melted. Add peanut butter mixture to cereal mixture and stir to combine well. Press into a 9x13 pan that has been greased well. Let cool.

**I have tried these and they are delicious! They are a quick and easy snack.

This has been linked to the Peanut Butter Spotlight at Eat at Home

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had one lonely sweet potato just BEGGING to be used. I knew it wouldn't be enough to eat with a meal, ok maybe one person. I remember reading about sweet potato muffins and I also had some apples that were supposed to go into the muffins...but apparently the chocolate won out the other night.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins-shared from  Finding Joy in my Kitchen
1 cup mashed sweet potato(about 1 potato)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp applesauce

Mix together dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and stir until well combined(my dough seemed dry so I added a couple more splashes of milk). Fold in chocolate chips. Place in muffin tins.(you will need 15 cups). Sprinkle top with granola and press into the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 mins until toothpick tested comes clean.

**These were moist and quite tasty. I had a friend say she was doubtful b/c who puts chocolate and a vegetable together....its like putting pumpkin and chocolate together. They are also baby approved!

Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies

Who doesn't love a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie? YUM! Unfortunately, we don't buy them anymore, but thanks to Michelle she shared a recipe for them and decided to try them out. The filling I used is just a regular butter cream (but Michelle's recipe has a more authentic filling ) so if you are looking for that make sure to check out her recipe.

Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies- adapted from All home cooking
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses(I substituted maple syrup)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups quick cook oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder(do not use black or dark)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Filling- I used this recipe for butter ceam, but like I mentioned check out the original!

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add in syrup. Beat in each egg one at a time. Add in vanilla. Mix together remaining ingredients and gradually add them into the butter mixture. Once everything is incorporated, place dough in fridge for 30 mins.

Once chilled, scoop dough out by tbsp and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.(I used non-stick cookie sheets and they worked great) Place in 350 degree oven for 10 mins, DO NOT OVERBAKE, they will look a little under done. Some of my cookies I made smaller(only got 16 sandwiches total) and even the smaller cookies took 10 mins.

Allow cookies to cool and spread with filling.

**These were excellent. My cookies seemed to come out a little thicker than Michelle's, but they still tasted wonderful. K ALMOST knew what they were without me telling him, but his taste buds are off due to allergeries so he is forgiven. Q sat at my feet waiting for more once he got one little taste...

Banana Bread Cobbler

I found this recipe while cruising around the blogging world. I thought it sounded different and I've been wanting to try it for a while. The only problem I faced was that my boys ALWAYS ate the bananas before they were very ripe.

Banana Bread Cobbler-adapted from Meal Planning with Connie
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
4 ripe bananas, sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup uncooked oatmeal(I used half old fashioned, half quick)
1/4 cup butter, softened(I actually melted mine)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together bread ingredients except for bananas. Place in greased 11x7 pan. Place sliced bananas on top. Mix topping together and sprinkle over the top of bananas. Place in oven and cook for 40 mins.

**I did end up cooking this it seemed like forever. But I was cooking it at a lower temperture. I thought it was done, but it still seemed gooey(although the toothpick came out clean). I have now gathered it is supposed to be soft and not cakey like.The couple of bites I've had it seems really sweet, so I will cut down the sugar (even more) if I make it again. You can also make a glaze to put over the top, I figured there was enough sugar in it already! I also made it in a 9 inch cake pan, if you do this make sure you put a pan under the cake pan as some of mine bubbled out. It also seemed like a lot of streusal topping.

Corn Dog Muffins

I love corn dogs...but wasn't liking that they were fried and filled with who knows what! So one day I was cruising around looking for a recipe for a homemade corn dog. I saw many, ones that you dip and fry yourself, some you dip and bake, or some you dip and pan fry.I needed simple, then I came across corn dog muffins on The Taste of Home's website.

Corn Dog Muffins
your favorite recipe for corn muffins(although I think I found a new one!)
1 pkg hot dogs, sliced in half and chopped

Mix together the corn muffin mix. Mix in hot dogs. Place in muffin tin and bake for 15-20 mins at 400 degrees. *I have also seen where people cut the hot dogs in half or thirds and press the dog into the muffin batter already in the pan. I cut them as the boys eat them and they are less of a chocking hazard this way.

**I usually buy the Quaker corn meal, but I picked up a different kind this last time. I used the recipe on the back of the bag and I seemed to have liked it must better. I did sub applesauce for the oil. This was the first time A ate them, but I think on a normal basis most kids would LOVE it. You can also mix cheese into the batter. I also use turkey dogs. So the new recipe I used really isn't that much different that the other one, but perhaps its the cornmeal. I've also done them in a mini muffin pan.


This was shared at Mama Bird's Nest

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday-April 26

I'm really not sure how it is the last week of April....

-Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Muffins
-Granola with Vanana Yogurt(I really wanted vanilla yogurt, but got this one by accident)
-perhaps I'll get around to making the egg cups this week
-Coconut Pecan Waffles

-Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole
-Corn Dog Muffins
-Sesame Ginger Pork chops
-and I was supposed to make Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese, but A ate ALL my perhaps I'll swing by and get some!

I'll also be making something with bananas, I've seen a recipe for a banana cobbler or banana pb choc. chip bread.

for more menu ideas check out orgjunkie

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole

While I was looking around for the cream soup recipe I stumbled upon this recipe. It sounded different so I wanted to give it a try. Of course for some reason, I missed in the original recipe that it needed potatoes, so I improvised and used egg noodles. They seemed to work very well.

Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole-adapted from Kitchen Stewardship
2 cups of cream soup
1 pkg egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 pkg baby carrots, chopped
3/4 cup plain yogurt(w/ 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice(omitted)*
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
4 cups chicken, cooked/chopped(I only used 2)
1 onion, chopped(optional)
2 cups shredded cheese

*instead of the yogurt you can use a 3/4 cup mayo or half and half)
Mix all ingredients together and top with the cheese. Cover and cook in the oven for 30-40 mins. Uncover for the last 10 mins. You may have to cook it a little longer if you want your carrots cooked more.

**This was quite tasty and made a huge batch. I had enough to freeze another casserole and this will feed us 2 meals. I added extra carrots to help compensate for the other 2 cups of chicken, again I over looked that part, but it still worked very well.

Italian Sausage Shepherd's Pie

I got this recipe from a message board I used to frequent. I am always looking for new ways to serve italian sausage. K loves it, but you can only eat it the same way so many times before you get sick of it. This is a delicious take on shepherd's pie and I did change it up this time, but I will also share the original recipe.

Italian Sausage Shepherd's Pie-(this is the original recipe)
1 pie crust
1 lb italian sausage, crumbed, browned, drained
1 cup small, curd cottage cheese
1 egg
1.5 cups warm mashed potatoes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cheese

Bake pie shell for 8 mins at 350 degrees. Place cottage cheese and egg in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add in potatoes, sour cream, and spices. Place sausage into pie crust, sprinkle with cheese, and top with potato mixture. Place in oven for 50-60 mins at 350 degrees.(or until set)

**I used cream cheese and chive potatoes this time. This didn't have to cook as long.

Homemade Cream Soup

This is one recipe I have yet to try as I've just been avoiding anything that has a cream of soup base. I found a Honey Dijion chicken casserole recipe(its coming soon I promise) and I apparently missed the part where it said I need to make cream soup first. It isn't hard to make, just and extra step and my patience is sometimes lacking when it comes to things needing to thicken. I usually have to occupy my time while I wait with other cooking or cleaning.

Homemade Cream Soup-shared from Kitchen Stewardship
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups broth
4 cups milk
chopped onion(optional)

Melt butter in pan, add in onions and saute for 5 mins if you use them for extra flavor. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 mins. Gradually add milk and broth stirring constantly. Let cook for 15-20 mins until thickened.

*I used 2 cups of water and 1 vegetable bouillon in case I decide I want to use this in a vegetarian dish later. This makes enough for 4 "cans" of soup. I used 2 cups in my casserole, which was plenty and then froze 2 containers for a later use. Some say it will separate, others say it will be fine, so we shall see what happens. My soup didn't seem to be as thick as some soup that I have seen. There was no picture in the original recipe so I'm not sure how thick it should have been. I got sick of waiting after at least a half hour!

 For mushroom soup: add in chopped sauted mushrooms to taste, with butter.
For celery soup: add in 1/4-1/2 cup chopped sauted celery with butter
For cheese soup: add in shredded cheese and allow it to melt. Sharp cheddar gives the best flavor
For broccoli: add in chopped broccoli once soup base as been made.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Normally after I make hummus I have a half bag of beans left. I soak/cook them in my crockpot and then I freeze the rest for a future use whether it is hummus or in another recipe. I had read in other places about roasted chick peas so I decided to give it a try. Now some say to use oil and spices, but others say to dry roast. I decided to dry roast them.

Oven Roasted Chickpeas-Eggless Cooking
2-3 cups cooked chickpeas(or 2 cans, rinsed/drained)
spices(I used chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt)

Pat chickpeas dry. Sprinkle with seasoning, except salt. Place in 400 degree oven for 30-40 mins until dry. Stir half way through. Keep an eye on them the last 5-10 mins so they do not burn. Sprinkle with salt.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Homemade French Bread

We are having a girls night out this week and I decided to make hummus and bread to bring along with me. I needed a good bread recipe, so I turned to Hallee. Thanks Hallee!

Homemade French Bread-shared from Hallee the Homemaker
3 cups white flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 pkg dry yeast(or 4 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups warm water( between 120-130 degrees)

Place some warm water in the bottom of your bowl and dump out. Add in 2.5 cups of water and yeast. Let sit for 5 mins. Add in butter and salt. Slowly mix in flour. Dough will be wet.(I did this in my stand mixer with the paddle for about 1 min). Kneed for 10 mins or 2 mins in your stand mixer(with bread hook) on setting #2.

Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hr.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll dough out into a 12X15 inch rectangle. Starting with the longer edge tightly roll into the center, tuck in ends. Place on greased cookie sheet that has been dusted with corn meal. Repeat with second piece. Cut slices in top, cover with towel and let rise for another hour.

Cook for 25-35 mins at 450 degrees.

**One loaf its going to girl's night tonight and then I used another 1/2 of the loaf to make french bread pizza today and it was fabulous!

Cheese Bagels

I am trying to hold off on going to the grocery store. I of course had NOTHING made in the house to really eat, so after making pop tarts and french bread I decided to make the bagel recipe again. This time I doubled the recipe and used cheese on part of them. They were so delicious and HUGE! I wanted bigger bagels, but maybe not that big!

Cheese Bagels
double recipe for whole wheat bagels
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Follow directions for whole wheat bagels. After you pop the bagels into the water place cheese on top of bagels and back until they are golden brown.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Homemade Pop-tarts

I've seen these in a few different blogs lately and I couldn't wait to try them. I need one pie crust for tomorrow's dinner(yes I could have easily just made half the recipe), but I figured if I'm already making the dough why not? A asked me what I was making so I told him, he gave me a funny look and told me he didn't like them. He has actually never had a "real" pop tart.

Homemade Pop Tarts
1 recipe for pie crust
your choice of filling: jelly, preserves, chocolate, butter w/cinnamon sugar, etc
*I used Polaner All fruit in raspberry and peach

Roll out dough into thin crust. Cut dough into square(unless you rolled it into a square). Cut dough into smaller squares. Place 2 tsp of filling on each piece of dough. Fold dough over and seal with either your fingers or a fork. Make sure to poke some holes in the top to vent. Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

**I did a bit of experimenting with my original pie crust and used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. It seemed to work very well! These were EXCELLENT, but I put too much filling it. The recipe does show it revised. Avery ate a couple bites, I'm not sure he was impressed. But I was! The amount of filling you put in will depend on the size of the pop tarts. Mine were pretty small.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bbq Mini Meatloaves

This original recipe is done in a muffin tin, but I HATE cleaning the dang thing, so I've opted out of it. I also know this meat is a little fattier than what I usually buy and I don't want the meatloaves sitting in all the fat...although it might make cleaning up easier! We have had this recipe before and K really liked it, said it was the best he has ever had and the leftovers reheat great!

BBQ Mini Meatloaves-adapted from Barefoot ConTerra
1 lb ground meat(I used beef)
1 egg
1-2 tsp italian seasoning
1-2 tsp minced dried onion
1-2 tsp garlic powder
2 palmfuls of whole wheat bread crumbs
bbq sauce(I used honey)
shredded cheese

Mix together meat, egg, seasonings, and bread crumbs. Try not to over mix the meat mixture as it becomes tough. Seperate meat into four sections and shape into oval. Leave a gully in the middle of the loaf, fill with bbq sauce and cheese. I then placed the loaves on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet with sides. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-25 mins until cooked through.

Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Another recipe I am making this week calls for cottage cheese in the potatoes. I don't have any so I've decided to use one of the 5 boxes of cream cheese instead. I think it will work well, but in the meantime we are having this as a side tonight with our meatloaf.

Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes
2-3 lbs potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, cubed
2 tbsp dried chives
1/2 cup milk(may need more depending on how thick you want them)
salt and pepper to taste

Cover potatoes with water. Cook until tender about 15 mins. Drain potatoes and add in cream cheese and chives. Mash until you reach the consistency you wish to have.

**I think they needed more chives, but K thought they were great.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

This is the second time I've made these muffins. The first time I used fresh cherries and they were really good. This time though, I had some dried cherries I wanted to use so I went ahead with the original recipe.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins-adapted from Finding Joy In My Kitchen
1 3/4 cup flour(I used whole wheat and white)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cherries(fresh, need to be pitted, cut into 1/8)*
1 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg white

Mix together dry ingredients. Combine(or add in the wet ingredients). Fold in cherries and chocolate chips. To keep the them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, you can toss them into the flour. Place in prepared muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins or until they are cooked through.

*I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cherries, and chopped them. I honestly didn't measure them, just used the bag I had.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coconut Rice and Sweet Potatoes

I'm not sure what my appeal is to coconut is lately, but I seem to see coconut and I must try the recipe. This one I found in our local paper. The original recipe also calls for a 10 oz bag of edamame, but I did not have it, but it was great without it!

Coconut Rice and Sweet Potatoes
1 tsp olive or canola oil
1 cup peeled, diced sweet potatoes(I used 1.5)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 to 1 1/4 cup jasmine rice*
15 oz can coconut milk(I used lite)
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tsp lime zest(which I didn't have)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

*I use a little bit more than a cup of brown jasmine rice, if you use white go ahead and use 1 1/4 cups.
In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the oil up. Add in sweet potatoes and ginger. Cook for about 4 mins.(Mine did take a little longer as I had to make sure all the potatoes got to the heat). Stir in rice, milk, juice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 mins.(Mine seemed to take more like 20-25 mins) Use a fork to fluff the rice and add in the lime zest, stir. Serve topped with peanuts and coconut.

**This was delicious! I wasn't sure how it was going to be with the sw. potato even though it sounded really good. I'm sure the zest would have made it even better. The boys almost ate it even...A ate the rice at least.

Aloha Chicken

This recipe was found in the Taste of Home cookbook. There is no particular reason why I chose it, it just sounded very good. It was originally supposed to be made in the microwave and on the stove, but I just did it all on the stove.

Aloha Chicken-Taste of Home 2010
1 lb chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
juice and zest of one lemon
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 cup pineapple(I used tidbits)
1 15 oz can sliced peaches, drained
salt and pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pour oil into pan and brown chicken until cooked through. Remove and let it rest. Drop onion in pan and saute about 5 mins until tender. Mix together juices, zest, soy sauce, and corn starch until smooth. Add into pan and bring to a boil, then let it thicken. Add in thyme. Slice chicken and add it back to the pan, add in fruit and cook until heated through. I garnished it with some flaked coconut.

*You can serve this with plain rice, but if you want more sauce you may want to double it. We had it with coconut rice and sweet potatoes. We really liked the flavor!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Breakfast Cookies

These have been on my list for at least 2 weeks now to try...well I finally tried them! And I also forgot to take a picture of them....

Breakfast Cookies-shared from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup rice cereal
1/2 cup rasins
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix together honey, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla, oil, and applesauce. Add in flour, oatmeal, salt, soda. Stir. Fold in cereal, raisins, and chips.

Scoop by tbsps onto cookie sheets. Flatten a little with the back of the spoon. Place in 350 degree oven for 12 mins, do not over back

Black Bean Rice Burgers

Black Bean Rice Burgers-shared by Taste of Home
-we did like this recipe...but i was having trouble keeping them together. K was surprised at how good they were and they were made tasty by the sauce. I did add shredded cheese to the top to help keep them together.

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup salsa, divided
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1 ounce each)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split

    In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork. Add the rice, onion, egg and 2 tablespoons salsa; mix well. Drop by 1/2 cupfuls into a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until firm and browned.
    In a small bowl, combine sour cream and remaining salsa. Place a lettuce leaf, burger, sour cream mixture and slice of cheese on bun. Yield: 4 servings.
  • Kids Help: dump, rinse/drain beans, help mash beans, mix ingredients.

    Next Time: I will use a real egg vs. a substitute, this could have been the cause of why they didn't stick together. I will also make them thicker as that may help as well.

Menu Plan Monday-April 19

Let's see this week we have:

-Aloha Chicken with coconut rice and sweet potatoes
-BBQ Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
-Italian Sausage shepherd's pie
-Hummus and bread, maybe pita(for girl's night out)

and baking if my cranky son allows:
-chocolate cherry muffins
-apple granola

For more menus make sure to check out orgjunkie

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

This is one of my all time favorite pancake recipes. It's right up there with Buttermilk Blueberry. I have made these up for both family and friends. They are very filling so you don't need as many pancakes per person. I generally add chocolate chips to mine and plan for K. He doesn't like chocolate in the morning...

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes-adapted from Rachael Ray
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup plain yogurt(or sour cream)
chocolate chips

Recipe also calls for 2 mashed bananas, 3/4 cup raisins(i usually do chocolate chips), and I have done it with bananas, but I like them better without.

Mix together flour, oats, soda, powder, sugar together. Add in milk, yogurt, vanilla, and eggs(bananas and raisins if used) . Stir well to combine. Place on hot griddle, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Flip when bubbles form. Serve with butter and pure maple syrup.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taco Pasta Salad

I love taco salad, but I generally use catalina dressing on it and well that has high fructose corn syrup, which is something we are trying to stay away from. I found this recipe at the Taste of Home and wanted to try it! It did not disappoint!

Taco Pasta Salad
3-4 cups rotini pasta, uncooked*
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning
1 1/4 cup mayo
2-3 tbsp milk(which I completely forgot about)
1 tbsp+3/4 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp+3/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ground mustard
1-2 tomatoes, diced
7 cups(or 1 bag) romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 cups crushed nacho tortilla chips(I used cheddar sun chips)

Cook pasta according to the pkg and drain. Brown beef and drain. Sprinkle taco seasoning on top, stir, and heat through. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, milk, and mustard. Set aside. Mix together pasta, beef, tomatoes and mayo mixture. If you are going to eat it all in one sitting go ahead and stir in the lettuce. I knew we were going to finish it, so we topped each serving of lettuce with the pasta mixture. Then top with cheese and crushed chips.

*I used 3 cups of pasta, so I then added 1 cup of plain yogurt to add more "sauce". I don't like dry pasta. If I was smart and thinking I would have used half mayo half yogurt to begin with.

**This was very very good. I may never make taco salad any other way! I even forgot to add the milk. The boys didn't eat it, b/c it was too spicy for them. I keep meaning to alter the seasoning, so if you don't like spicy cut back on the chili powder, red pepper, and black pepper. This would taste good with sour cream too. This would also work great for a potluck, just leave the lettuce separate or put pasta on top.

This recipe has been linked Mommy's Kitchen

and one more award!

I received this one last week I believe from Hallee over at Hallee the Homemaker. Sorry that it got lost in the jumble of life Hallee! Thank you so much for the honor!

The origin of this award can be found here along with the rules. One of the rules is to pass it along to 7 fellow bloggers...this is getting tough for me! But these are the blogs I frequent the most and someday I will get around to adding new blogs again and have time to read them! 

3. Heather at Acting Balanced
6. Terra at Barefood ConTerra

Kreativ Blogger Award!

I received another award! This time it comes from Michelle over at All Home Cooking. All Year Long. Michelle and I are on the same mission and I enjoy reading and seeing her recipes! Thank you Michelle!

As usual, this award comes with some guidelines. I am to share this award with other bloggers and share 7 things about me, you may not know. 

Here is my list of 7 things about me:

1. I have cloth diapered my children for 2 years(Q since he was born). I never knew that I would LOVE it so much and it became quite the addiction!
2. I love to read...just wish I had more time to do it!
3. I never thought I'd be on a mission to cut out processed foods and look for new things to cook the way I have been.
4. Can make just about anything except up until recently I couldn't make blondies/chocolate chip bars. I either over cooked them or burned the edges and had a gooey center.
5. My mom asked, if when I was younger if I'd eat the stuff I give my kids, I told her probably not. But its all my kids know. Apparently, I must feed them odd stuff, is it odd?
6. Most of my friends are from college and the closest one lives 45 mins away, wish we could all move into a neighborhood together!
7. K and I will be married for 5 years in July.

I am also passing this award onto:

Hallee over at Hallee the Homemaker

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Steak and Cheese Pizza

I had this planned for the end of the month, but I needed to use up some roast beef so its been put in for dinner tonight!

Cheese Steak Pizza
1 recipe for no rise pizza dough
1/2 lb roast beef, sliced thin, chopped
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, chopped(or 1-2 fresh peppers)
1 onion, sliced
1 block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Spread dough into 2 circles. Cook for 5-8 mins in a 350 degree oven. Place cheese, roast beef, onions, and  peppers on dough. Place in oven for 10-15 mins until cheese is hot and bubbly.

You will notice in this picture that it looks like mini pizzas, these were not made on the homemade dough. I have found these pocketless pitas(or flatbreads) at the store marked down so I pick them up when I do. I tend to freeze them, but had them out for sandwiches and they needed to be used up. I did make 2 calzones(one cheese/onion and one Cheese steak) with the dough.

**These were very good. I was debating about a sauce, but decided not to put any on it. It was perfect and tasted just like cheese steak that I'm used too! Even K liked it!

Beef Pot Pie

This clearly wasn't on the menu this week, but my husband and boys have been sick. K called on the way home yesterday wanting soup, which is great, but I didn't have any. So I told him I could make some, which took part of the veggie beef soup I was going to make and I didn't want another soup. This recipe was on the same page as the ricotta pancakes, but I didn't follow it, just got the idea!

Beef Pot Pie
1 lb stew beef, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
2-3 small potatoes, cubed
4-5 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp italian seasoning
3-4 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cornstarch(more or less may be needed)+water
1 batch crescent roll dough
salt and pepper to taste

Place oil in pan and brown meat season with salt and pepper. (I use a large stock/soup pot) Sprinkle with flour and stir. Let cook 1-2 mins. Add in veggies, spices, water, and bouillon. There should be enough water so that it covers all the ingredients.Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Mix together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water add to "soup". This should thicken it up nicely, you may need to add more cornstarch and water until it is the thickness you like. Simmer on the stove for 1-2 hours until meat is tender. **This can also be transferred to a Crockpot and cooked on low for 8 hrs or high for 4 hrs.

Once filling is done, roll out dough and place on top of "stew". This was enough stew for me to get 2 8x8 pans, so one will be going in the freezer. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins until crust is golden brown.

**This was tasty, I kept adding more seasonings as I felt something was missing. Not sure what yet, but it was still delicious and something we don't have very often!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

I've had these on my menu for at least 2 weeks now. Everyone in my house was not feeling well this morning, so I made them for myself. The original recipe calls for a rhubarb sauce, I am not a fan of rhubarb nor do I have any, so I went with blueberry sauce.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes-from Taste of Home 2009
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of lemon(I only used half, but I think you could use the whole thing)
1 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
couple squirts of honey
1/2 cup of water

Place sauce ingredients into pan and let it come to a boil, continue to heat until blueberries explode and sauce reduces about 10 mins.

Mix together flour, powder, salt, and sugar. Add in ricotta, lemon juice, and zest. Stir until smooth. Place by spoonful on heated griddle and flip when bubbles form. They are done when they are golden brown. Top with sauce.

**I'm not usually a fan of ricotta, but these did work with it. You could tell they weren't regular pancakes as they had a different texture, but I love them pared with the sauce.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blue Cheese Chicken and Penne

K and I love blue cheese or Gorgonzola. I am always looking for new ways to use it and love when I find it in a recipe! This one sounded very easy to make and sounded very decadent. It was definitely something you could find in a "fancy" restaurant. You can use Gorgonzola in this recipe, if you prefer.

Blue Cheese Chicken and Penne- from Taste of Home 2010
1 1lb pkg penne pasta, cooked
1 lb boneless chicken breast, sliced or cubed
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup white wine(I used pinot grigio)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups crumbled blue cheese(about 8 oz)
6-8 sage leaves thinly sliced(omitted)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown chicken in a little oil until done, add in garlic and cook for 1 min. Add in wine, making sure to pull up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add cream and broth, cook until slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Drain penne and add to chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Serve with parm cheese sprinkled on the top.

**My sauce didn't thicken up all that much until I added the cheese. I think it as because I doubled the wine and broth. I like it saucy and not dry. Next time I won't use as much pasta either, it did seem like there wasn't enough sauce for the amount of pasta. You can make more sauce too. The pasta may have also absorbed some of the liquid as well. K really liked it, it had a nice flavor too!

Birthday Cookie

Last weekend, was Easter and we had 3 different cakes. I don't know about anyone else, but I was all caked out. So I decided instead of doing a cake for Q's birthday I was going to attempt a cookie...I have made cookie bars before, but it has always been something that I can't get right. I either over bake them or the edges burn and the middle is gooey. I don't know what I did, but this one came out great! I was so excited! Q and everyone at the party agreed!

Birthday Cookie-adapted from Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Recipe
2 sticks of butter, softened
2/3 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chocolate chips
half batch of buttercream frosting
food coloring
plastic/zip top bag and decorating tips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugars. Add in one egg at a time and mix well. Add in vanilla. Combine flours, salt,and baking soda. Slowly add into butter mixture. Mix throughly. Stir in chocolate chips. Place batter into a 13x9x1 baking sheet. It was the easier to flatten by using a piece of waxed paper. Place in oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Allow to cool before decorating.

While cookie is cooling, make butter cream frosting. Dye to the color of your liking. Place decorating tip into zip top bag and trim corner. Push tip into cut corner. Place frosting into bag and decorate as needed.*I used a star tip and a piping tip.

**I may have cooked the cookie a bit too long and you may also want to lightly greased the pan as mine did stick a little.

Cooking fails...

Sometimes I just have a recipe that just doesn't work! I've had 2 lately and it seems so depressing, but when I think about all the things I have made it doesn't seem like a lot!

I attempted to make a Red Velvet Cake for Easter. My mom never had it, so I told her I would make it. I turned to my friend who I know has awesome recipes, which I won't mention because I have discussed it with her. It could have been something was left out, or something was up with my ingredients, who knows really. I expected a moist, fluffy cake, and well it was quite dense...I was so disappointed in it! The frosting with it, was divine. So perhaps I can share the cream cheese frosting recipe.

Another thing I attempted to make was homemade caramel sauce. I needed it for a apple cookie pizza I was making for Q's birthday(recipe to come). I looked up a couple recipes and choose one. I choose this one as it did not call for corn syrup as another recipe I looked at did. The reviews suggested to use evoaporated milk instead of cream, which I knew I had. So I went with it...I did half brown sugar and half white sugar. Now this recipe said DO NOT STIR until all the sugar is dissolved. So I put on my patient shoes and waited for it melt...and waited...and waited.  Finally it seemed to have melted, so I gave it a stir and let it come to a boil. Let it boil for 5-10 mins, while stirring and what I thought was a nice caramel color(of course it is, it was dark brown sugar), poured in the milk...but it didn't seem to bubble like the recipe said it would. Ok, no big deal, I'm sure it will still be fine. Let it boil another 5-10 mins it seemed thin when I was done, but the recipe said to let it cool...I did and ended up with lumpy caramel. The flavor was good, but who wants lumpy caramel. So I tried to save it by reheating didn't work. So it got dumped...someday maybe I will try again.

I did find another recipe, that I will share. It was good in the recipe, but it didn't have a strong caramel flavor, but it did work in a pinch.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meal Planning Monday-April 12

We have a few leftovers we have to finish before I can cook again, but so far on the menu this week we have...

-Brunch Lasagna
-Veggie Beef Barley Soup
-Pepperoni Roll ups
-Taco Pasta Salad

-attempting yogurt again...
*I'm sure there will be more in this category, there usually is!

For more menus make sure to check out orgjunkie

Brunch Lasagna

I knew we would have leftover ham from Easter so I made to find something new to do with it. We don't have ham very often and I just don't know what to do with it sometimes! Its also not one of my favorites...I found this recipe and had to try it because it sounded different!

Brunch Lasagna-Taste of Home 2009 or 2010
8 lasagna noodles, cooked according the the pkg
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 red or green pepper, chopped
double batch of alfredo sauce(with or without garlic)
2 cups shredded cheese(I used swiss)
2-3 cups chopped ham

Whisk together eggs ad milk. Cook eggs until set, but still moist. Take a half cup of sauce and place it in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Place 4 noodles in the bottom of the pan. Top with peppers, ham, and more sauce. Top with 4 more noodles. Top with eggs and more alfredo, sprinkle with cheese.Cover and bake at 350 for 40-50 mins until hot and bubbly.

**We had this for dinner after Q's party today. K LOVED it and had seconds, I thought it was pretty good. My mom thought it was good and different. I have decided I like it better than the french toast casseroles. My mom thinks it would work well with any pasta, just to mix it all together instead of the layers, she is probably right! The hardest part was probably making the alfredo sauce!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream

I have now made 2 batches of ice cream for the party on sunday. My mom asked if I was serving everyone lactose free ice cream and I told her no. But if no one knew it had rice milk in it, you would never know the difference. My brother always gives me funny looks when I mention rice milk, its not all that bad. Anyway...onto the recipe! Lori also shared this recipe, its from Emeril. I adapted it a bit with less sugar as K said it was too sweet. Hopefully our birthday guesses will love it too!

Homemade Ice Cream
4 cups half and half(or 2 cups cream/2 cups milk)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Place in ice cream maker and run according to manufacturer's instructions. I ran mine for about 30-40 mins. About 15-20 mins you can add in any mix ins you wish. Once done, pour into a freezer safe bowl and freeze until ready to use!

-I made peanut butter cup, where I used the basic recipe and added in chopped peanut butter cups.
-I also made a mint chocolate chip, with a 1/2 tsp peppermint extract instead of the vanilla and add in 1/2-3/4 cup chopped chocolate(I used some dark chocolate). You can also use mini chocolate chips.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mango Peach Pork Stir Fry

This is another recipe from The Taste Of Home Recipe Collection of 2009.
This would also be great with chicken.

Mango Peach Pork Stir Fry
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup+2 tbsp soy sauce
1 head bok choy,chopped
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium mango, chopped(I used about 1 cup frozen, thawed)
1 cup chopped frozen peaches

In a small bowl combine cornstarch, soy sauce, and broth. Stir until smooth. Set aside. Stir fry pork in oil(I did not use any oil) until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Stir fry bok choy stems for 2 mins, add in garlic, ginger, and bok choy leaves for another 2 mins. Add in water and red pepper flakes, cook until bok choy is crisp tender. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 mins until sauce is thickened. Add in mango, pork, and peaches, stir and heat through. Serve over rice.

**This sauce is the doubled version. I like a lot of sauce especially over rice! This was very good, although I felt something was missing. K thought it was great just the way it was!

Lactose Free Ice Cream

This coming Sunday we are finally celebrating Q's first birthday. I decided I was going to make ice cream, but felt bad as I think he might be lactose intolerant. They do make rice milk ice cream and lactose free ice cream, but I wasn't going to pay $4+ for a pint of ice cream. So I decided to make my own. My friend Lori, from Teacher Turned Mommy shared a regular ice cream recipe with me so I switched out the milk with rice and lactose free milk.

Lactose Free Ice Cream
2 cups original rice milk
2 cups lactose free milk
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla

Pour milks into bowl, add in vanilla and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to machine's directions. I let mine go about 45 mins and added in some chopped dark chocolate after 20 mins. Pour ice cream into freezer container and freeze until solid.

**I couldn't help it...we all tried it while it was churning. It was delicious! Q loved it! A told me it was too cold and K thought it was too sweet. I may play around with the sugar a bit, but the dark chocolate did cut some of the sweetness. I only added the chocolate because I know Q won't eat it all and well vanilla is just boring! This does freeze VERY hard, so you may want to take it out before you need it. My brother and Q had to wait for everyone else to eat it before they could have theirs! My brother said it "wasn't bad" but what does he know anyway (and yes he isn't supposed to have lactose)!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

This is another recipe I found in the quilt guild cookbook. I love a good coffee cake...although after this weekend I can't believe I even want a cake!(we had 3 cakes over Easter!)

Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake
1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 cup white flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, floured
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, fold in blueberries. Spread half of the batter into a greased 9X13 inch pan. In a bowl mix together nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over batter and top with remaining batter. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 mins.

*I could not get the batter to split very well, so I put all the batter down and topped with the brown sugar. It seemed like it needed more batter to be able to split it. I actually like it this way. The original recipe says to cook it for 40-50 mins, but mine was done after 30 mins, so once a toothpick comes out clean, its done. It was also missing the measurement for the baking soda, so after consulting with my friend, Kim, we decided on the 1 tsp.

**This is very moist and delicious!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gyro Burgers

I stumbled upon this recipe in two different places and wanted to give them a try. I combined two recipes, one came from The Taste of Home 2009 Recipe Collection and the other one came from my Aunt's quilt guild cookbook.

Gyro Burgers
1 lb ground beef(or ground turkey)
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 tsp oregano
2 cups plain yogurt(I used greek and sour cream)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried chives
2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cucumber, seeded, peeled,chopped
mozzerella cheese

Mix one cup of yogurt with seasonings(except oregano). Place half the mixture in with meat, oregano, and onions. Mix meat together and form patties, grill until done to your likeness. Take the rest of the yogurt and mix it with the cucumber and 1 cup of plain yogurt to make the sauce. Stir and place in fridge. Once burgers are done, place in pitas and top with sauce.

**There was something in the sauce that gave it quite a kick, I'm not sure if it was the garlic or the pepper(which I did cut down in this recipe). Once it was combined with the burger and bread, it was good. Now I've never had a gyro before, but these were good and different, but I can't compare them to the real taste of a gyro!

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread

A has been asking for toast...and well its hard to make toast with no bread. This is another recipe I found in the quilt guild cookbook and decided we needed to try it out!

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 tbsp+1 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp cornmeal, divided(optional)

Combine flour, yeast, salt, and baking soda in stand mixer bowl. Add warm milk and water. Beat on low for 30 seconds. Scraping bowl as needed. Beat on high for 3 mins(I could only go about med. speed or the mix flew out!) Stir in remaining flour, batter will be stiff. DO NOT KNEAD!!! Coat 2 bread pan loafs with cooking spray and sprinkle pan with 1 tbsp corn meal. Spoon batter into pans and sprinkle with the rest of the cornmeal. Cover and let rise for 45 mins or until doubled.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins until golden brown. Remove from the pan immediately.

*I put the cornmeal optional because when I turned the bread out a good majority of it fell off, so next time I will skip it!

**This was a quick and easy bread to make. It actually did taste just like an english muffin. I fell in love with it and Q really liked it as well. A did get his toast, did he eat it? No, he decided he'd be 3 and not eat it...sigh...
You can mix up the flavors, perhaps a cinnamon raisin or honey oat.

Whole Grain Pancakes

A couple of years ago, my Aunt Gina gave me a cookbook that her quilt guild put together. At first glance, I bookmarked 2-3 recipes, I just went through it again and bookmarked a bunch more! This was one of them and I've had them before as it is my Aunt's recipe.

Whole Grain Pancakes-adapted from Aunt Gina
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup white flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup buttermilk(or milk)
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix egg, oil, and buttermilk. Add the liquid mix to the dry mixture. Fold in blueberries. Drop on heated griddle, flip when bubbles form. Serve with real maple syrup.

**I tried to take a picture, but they weren't not in a good photographing mood. The hint of spices were a nice touch to the recipe. Q loved them!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bourbon Glazed Ham

Someone I met on a message board shared this recipe and I have used it each time we have ham. It's just simple and delicious!

Bourbon Glazed Ham
5-10 lb ham(I think mine was around 8 and it was pre-cooked spiral)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Whisk ingredients together.

Place ham in roasting pan with rounded end up. Roast according to directions until heated through. About 30 mins into roasting baste ham and continue to baste ham every 30 mins. I also cover my ham with foil.

I decided that I needed oven space today so I tried making this in my crock pot and it worked beautifully! Of course my ham was too big so I wrapped the top in foil instead of the cover. If you do this make sure it is sealed tight.  Place ham on 5-6 crumbled foil balls in bottom of slow cooker. Place it with meat side down. Turn on high and cook for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Glaze as normal. My ham did cook faster but that was due to my slow cooker so you may want to keep an eye on it.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I was having a really hard time deciding what kind of potato side to make for Easter dinner...I was going to try a new recipe and then I wasn't feeling it, then I thought ooh scalloped potatoes and decided not too. So I fell back on a old favorite.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 head of garlic
5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5-6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter

Cut the top off of the garlic bulb, just to see the cloves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap in foil and place in 350 degree oven for 45 mins to 1 hour. You will know it is done when the cloves are golden brown. Once cooled squeeze garlic out of papers into cooked potatoes.

Place potatoes in pot and cover with water. Cook until fork tender. Once potatoes are done, drain and add in milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mash with garlic.

Place potatoes in casserole dish. Top with bacon and cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted about 10-15 mins.

**I made these the day before so it took about 30-40 mins to heat through.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Well after this weekend of cooking I do have a long list of a menu this I'm sure this will last for 2 weeks!

-Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
-English Muffin Bread(b/c A keeps asking for toast and I haven't made bread in a LONG time!)
-Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
-Breakfast Cups with ham

-Brunch Lasagna (ok this can be for breakfast too!)
-Gyro Burgers
-Chicken Satay Noodle Salad
-Blue Cheese Chicken and Penne
-Beef Barley soup
-Pepperoni Lasagna Rolls
-Italian Sausage Shephard's Pie

and we will be finally celebrating Q's first bday on sunday and I was going to do a cake...but after having cake 3 times this week I may change that! Maybe a really big cookie!

For more great menus check out orgjunkie

Chocolate Strawberry Short CAKE

I had clipped this recipe out of a magazine oh about...2 years ago! I was looking for a dessert to take to my in laws that didn't have a lot of sugar in it so I thought it would be perfect and it was!

Chocolate Strawberry Short Cake
1-1.5 pint strawberries, sliced
2 cups heavy whipping cream+2 tbsp powdered sugar
shaved chocolate(optional)

3 squares(1 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8-9 inch round baking pan
Melt chocolate and butter,cool. Stir until smooth. Beat in vanilla, sugar, eggs, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup of flour. Alternately beat in remaining flour and water until blended. Pour into pan and bake for 30 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

Place whipping cream in stand mixer with whisk attachment. Add sugar and whisk until cream forms.

Once cake is cooled, cut in half. Layer in strawberries(may not have room for all of them) and some whipped cream(about a 1/2 cup). Place second layer on top and "frost" cake with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with remaining strawberries and shaved chocolate.

You can serve this immediately, but seen as mine was
traveling I put it in the freezer for a couple hours and it came out perfect!

**K doesn't like chocolate cake and wasn't really looking forward to this dessert. Too bad for I tend to make chocolate for my mother in law and sister in law. He said it was perfect because the chocolate wasn't overpowering and had the perfect contrast with the whipped cream and strawberries. The boys loved it along with everyone else!